Understanding social media trends in the previous year and how SM can be the most effective digital marketing method available to your business in 2021.
Social media is by far the most popular service available on the internet. It can share information, spread brand awareness – it makes or breaks your business. If you’re not utilising social media effectively, you’re missing out on a whole new potential market of consumers. With a new year upon us, we look back at some of the biggest social media services to date and our predictions for the new year. It’s important to look back in order to move forward. By reviewing what social networks were most popular, we can predict what social sites you should be using in 2021. We’ll also be looking at how to effectively utilise your social media as a marketing tool online. As a full-service digital marketing agency, we’re a big fan of social media and hope you will be too.
Think about your typical day. When you get up for work, you check your socials. When you’re at work, you check your socials (albeit it sneakily) and when you’re at home, guess what? You check your socials. Everyone’s daily routine revolves around checking social media at least once a day, and that’s a market that your business cannot afford to miss. The most popular social networking sites are popular simply because of the sheer number of users on those apps.
Let’s consider Facebook for a moment and all the data you input into it. Marital status, age, gender, location, interests etc. – they can all be targeted by social media marketing. Which means, if your company is looking to advertise directly to men between the ages of 18-24, living in London, you can use Facebook to target them. Paid promotions mean you’re guaranteed to be seen on a specific users feed, potentially generating more traffic for your site and more business. Most social media platforms can be utilised with paid promotions – including Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Pros – The benefits of SMM cannot be disputed. Direct targeting to an audience and the vast audience that can be reached have been mentioned, but you can also build and establish your brand and brand loyalty. Not only is SMM cost-effective, but data from Facebook insights mean you can see if your strategy is working.
However, it’s not perfect.
Cons – The drawbacks include having to monitor social media closely, making it very demanding and time-consuming. Whilst building brand loyalty and growing on social media is good if it’s not improving your sales than sometimes it can be frustrating. It requires time, investment and patience.
Worldwide there an incredible number of users on each social media platform. Some you may not even have heard of…
Facebook is still the dominant platform worldwide, along with Instagram and YouTube. However, Qzone is a Chinese social network, yet still has a high volume of users. If you’re a national business, it may be worth looking to target some, if not all, of these platforms.
As for the UK, the proof is in the numbers. Social media statistics offer an insight into the millions of users on each social network, in the UK. Are you using all the social media sites you could be? Above is the graph of the top social media networks with their UK user numbers for 2018. And, below is an updated version for 2019.
As you can see, Facebook and YouTube remain as two of the most dominant social media platforms worldwide. But, what is different in 2019 is that WeChat and WhatsApp have started creeping up on the both of them.
2020 proved a huge year for social media usage growth with the total amount of global users surpassing the 3.8 billion mark. In fact, that’s just under half of the world’s entire population. Now, let’s breakdown how many active users are on each platform.
Sources: Oberlo and Smart Insights
Facebook and YouTube continue to dominate the world’s most-used social platform list. However, 2021 has seen Instagram overtake both WeChat and Facebook Messenger, making it the fourth most used social media platform in the world.
The largest platform for users is Facebook, with over 32,000,000 users in the UK alone – worldwide, there are 1.65 billion. Closely followed by Twitter (20 million), YouTube and LinkedIn (19 million). Due to their compatibility, Instagram and Snapchat have considerably less than Twitter/LinkedIn – as they are mostly used and compatible on handheld devices (Instagram can be viewed via a web browser).
When it comes to social media users in the UK for 2019, the numbers have significantly increased since last year. There are now over 37 million users on social media, together with 40 million on Facebook.
Facebook – 40 million
Youtube – 37.1 million
Twitter – 13.6 million
Instagram – 24 million
Google + – shut down
Pinterest – 10,300,000
Snapchat – 16.95 million
Linkedin – 27 million
Tumblr – 9,000,000
Reddit – 6,600,000
The amount of social media users significantly increased since 2019. However, similar to last year’s stats, Facebook continued to dominate the social media landscape in the UK. It remained the most used platform for both consumers and businesses in 2020.
Sources: Oberlo and Smart Insights and Sprout Social
For the first time, Facebook has not been recorded as the most-used social media platform in the UK. In 2021, YouTube has taken the crown with almost 80% of internet users having used it in 2021!
The total amount of social media users in the UK has grown to 53 million.
Listed above are the Top 11 social media sites used in the UK, with the number of users listed beside. Networks like YouTube and Vimeo are geared towards video, uploading and sharing creations. Whilst Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat utilise images and shorter videos. LinkedIn focuses more on B2B (business to business) and sites like Tumblr are used mainly for blogging. Twitter, Google + and Facebook are shorter platforms for blogging but also are used to share videos and images onto user’s feeds. Reddit is a forum site, used to discuss topics and submit web content (links, images, text posts etc.)
According to the data listed above, the most popular social media site is Facebook. With over 32 million users in the UK alone, it’s one of the easiest platforms to manage and use. That’s why you always get your mum actively sharing on it…
If you’ve heard the phrase “TikTok” coming out of the mouths of the younger generation lately, it’s no surprise.
TikTok isn’t just the fastest growing social media network of 2020. It’s one of the fastest growing social media networks of all time. It enables users to film and share short-form video content utilising a huge range of features.
It was launched back in 2017 by a Chinese company called ByteDance which has since been named as the world’s most valuable start-up. The company absorbed the already highly popular music-focused app Musical.ly in 2018 that allowed them to snowball the platform’s comical, lip-sync heavy content style and features.
Because Musical.ly’s main social driver was music, this led to TikTok videos having a high concentration of dance videos. This progression quickly led to dance challenges, lip-sync challenges and general hashtag challenges becoming extremely popular on the platform, which largely contributed to its incredible growth over a short amount of time.
TikTok is now available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users and has been downloaded 2 billion times. If your business has a target audience segment of 16-30 year olds, then you really need to get on TikTok now rather than later. Here’s why.
With a huge market on social media, more and more businesses are utilising social media to market products/services to the ever-growing audience. The most popular social networks for businesses, according to digital marketers, are listed below.
The data, collected via Clutch’s Social Media Survey, the most favoured network for businesses is Facebook – due to the huge number of users. Following closely behind is LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Instagram is favoured mainly for visual businesses with a ‘product’ to showcase (design work etc.)
Data collected via Clutch Social media Survey
In 2018, Clutch conducted another survey for small businesses, and how they use social media in 2018. It found that Facebook was still the most popular platform, with 86% of small businesses favouring it. However, it was found that other platforms weren’t used as frequently by smaller businesses:
This year, Clutch ran the social media survey again, however, the numbers have only changed a little bit for 2019. Facebook is still favoured for the sheer amount of users. However, 86% of businesses use it now, compared to 89% in 2018.
Whilst smaller businesses may not have the scale for some services, like using Twitter for customer response, it’s surprising to see smaller businesses not taking advantage of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking, which is a known and proven aspect for smaller businesses to bring in more business. If you’re a small business, and you’re not marketing yourself and your company on LinkedIn, you could be missing out on bringing in more work and more profit.
Not everyone has a knack for social media. For some it can be confusing and a lot of hassle – especially if you’ve got your own work to get on with. Bigger companies will usually have an in-house social team. Generally, smaller businesses outsource to digital agencies and social media management companies. Managing multiple accounts is normally very time consuming, so social media whizzes use management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. This allows you to monitor data from across all your social channels, as well as manage posts and track engagement and stats.
Whilst there are tons and tons of services available, we’ve picked our top favourite social media management tools.
Hootsuite is one of the most well know management tools in the game. Plans vary depending on how many accounts you add, and you can utilise an array of features across the management system. The dashboard allows you to manage all your profiles in one location.
Professional plan – £39 a month (10 social profiles, 1 admin user)
Team plan – £99 a month (20 social profiles, 3 admin users)
Business plan – £520 a month (35 social profiles, 5 users)
Enterprise – get in touch for pricing
Whilst Buffer focuses on ease of navigation. It not only looks simple but is easy to operate and comes with a wealth of reposts in the Analytics tab. Buffer offers a basic package for free, which allows you to manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for free (1 account).
Free plan – $0 a month (3 social profiles, 1 admin user)
Essentials plan – $5 per channel (unlimited profiles, 1 admin user with options to add team members at an add-on price)
Sprout is great value for money, despite not having a free plan. There are so many features available to ease the social media posting process. It allows you to queue up posts and visualise when and where they’ll be posted too. Whilst the hefty price tag may not suit smaller businesses, for larger-scale ones it’s ideal.
Standard plan – $99 a month (5 social profiles)
Professional plan – $169 a month (10 social profiles)
Advanced plan – $279 (10 social profiles)
MavSocial has a special emphasis on creating strategic content campaigns, to utilise your social media in a more effective and efficient way. One of the key features is the re-purposing tool, which allows you to rework existing and published content to fit a new purpose, whilst monitoring your messages and notifications across all social profiles.
Advanced plan – $19 a month (10 social profiles, 1 admin user)
Pro plan – $78 a month (30 social profiles, 3 admin users)
Business plan – $199 a month (50 social profiles, 5 users)
Enterprise plan – get in touch for a custom quote (unlimited profiles, unlimited users)
This service is ideal for digital agencies, as it allows you to report to your heart’s content. AgoraPulse not only improves the content and streamlines posting, but it allows you to create unlimited reports too. This means you can report back to your clients, as well as integrate competitor analysis and monitor ad campaigns too – synchronising workflow. However, this is only available on the more expensive plans.
Free plan – free (3 social profiles, 1 admin user)
Pro plan – €79 a month (10 social profiles, 2 admin users)
Premium plan – €159 a month (20 social profiles, 4 admin users)
Enterprise plan – get in touch for custom pricing (40+ social profiles, 8+ users)
Social Pilot works on creating harmony between all of your social accounts. It has the tools for social media reporting. It emphasises synchronicity as the main feature, so the team of admins can streamline their workload. The hand calendar feature easily displays published content and scheduled content as well.
Professional plan – $30 a month (10 social profiles, 1 admin user)
Small team plan – $50 a month (25 social profiles, 3 admin users)
Studio plan – $100 a month (50 social profiles, 5 users)
Agency plan – $150 a month (75 social profiles, 10 users)
As for Everypost, it focuses on pulling visual content from multiple sources as well as preaching a simple interface for ease of navigation and functionality. The price plan is dependent on the features you wish to include with your plan. It appears to be the best service for the price. For the same price as Buffer, and cheaper than Hootsuite, you can do a lot more with the service, including more team members and better management.
Personal plan – Free (1 social profile, 1 admin user)
Pro plan – $9.99 a month (10 social profiles, 3 admin users)
Plus plan – $49.99 a month (25 social profiles, 5 admin users)
Advanced plan – $99.99 a month (50 social profiles, 10 admin users)
Other Useful Resource:
eClincher is a social media tool that allows you to manage your social media presence and marketing activities, combining all the social media accounts in one place. eClincher provides a publishing and scheduling tool, allowing you to post on numerous accounts at the same time. Another great feature on eClincher is the social media analytics tool that measures results; this helps you create reports to send to clients.
Basic plan – $59 a month (10 social profiles, 1 admin user)
Premier plan – $119 a month (20 social profiles, 3 admin users)
Agency plan – $219 a month (40 social profiles, 6 admin users)
Sendible allows you to connect to just about any social network including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and more. Even publish directly to WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. Whether focusing on a campaign for one brand or managing social across hundreds, Sendible helps agency teams be more productive by managing all their client activities from a centralised hub.
Creator plan – £21 a month (6 social profiles, 1 user)
Traction plan – £65 a month (24 social profiles, 4 users)
Scale plan – £145 a month (49 social profiles, 7 users)
Expansion plan – £299 a month (105 social profiles, 15 users)
SharedCount is a really handy tool that allows you to see how and where your website content is being shared on social media. It is targeted towards smaller businesses and individual users who might not have the resources available to pay for premium products. But, it is one of the best tools of its kind out there and can also prove really handy for freelancers. The reason that you should be using it is because it can help you drive more traffic and improve your conversion rate.
Personal plan – $40 per month
Professional plan – $160 per month
Enterprise plan – $640 per month
Formerly known as Schedugram, Sked Social is one of the original Instagram scheduling tools. One of the best things about this social media tool is that it allows you to upload your photos and move them around to see how your Instagram grid looks before you hit the publish button.
Fundamental plan – $25 per month (up to 13 social profiles, 1 user)
Essential plan – $75 per month (up to 25 social profiles, unlimited users)
Professional plan – $135 per month (up to 40 social profiles, unlimited users)
Zoho Social offers a simple way to manage your brand by providing a complete social media management solution. As well as being able to manage multiple social media accounts, there is also a really cool calendar feature so you can see what posts you have scheduled in to be published. You are also able to monitor keywords across the conversations that are being had about your brand on social media too.
Standard plan – £8 per month (7 social profiles, 1 user)
Professional plan – £22 per month (7 social profiles, 1 user)
Premium plan – £35 per month (8 social profiles, 3 users)
Using Brandwatch is a great way of eavesdropping on the information that could be imperative to your business from Facebook, Twitter, blogs and every other corner of the internet. Its social sentiment features allows you to see the tone of data from different profiles so you can tap into trends and emerging themes and use them to your advantage.
Contact Brandwatch for custom pricing based on your requirements
Statusbrew is a different type of social media management platform because it’s aimed for sales, marketing and customer support teams. As well as its campaign management features, there’s also reporting and analytics tools so you can stay on top of your brands’ overall social media health. On top of that, there are also some really cool integrations available such as Shopify, Zendesk and Slack.
Standard plan – $129 per month (10 social profiles, 5 users)
Premium plan – $229 per month (15 social profiles, 8 users)
Enterprise plan – Contact for custom pricing
CoSchedule is more than just a social media management tool; it’s a calendar that allows you to manage the majority of your digital marketing efforts. You can also collaborate with your colleagues to create content, social media posts, events and other related tasks. It’s a great tool for businesses and marketers who want to organise all of their projects in one place.
Marketing calendar plan – $29 per month
Marketing suite plan – Contact for custom pricing
MeetEdgar is a great social media management tool for automation and scheduling, giving your team more time to complete other tasks. The tool offers continuous posting which automatically creates and reshares relevant posts so that your social media account is always active.
Edgar Lite – $19 per month (3 social profiles)
Edgar – $49 per month (25 social accounts)
Loomly is a great choice for those with large teams, as their comprehensive plans can have up to 26 different users. You’ll never lack inspiration when using Loomly either, as they offer post ideas, trending topics and social media best practices.
Base plan – $25 per month (10 social profiles, 2 users)
Standard plan – $57 per month (20 social accounts, 6 users)
Advanced plan – $119 per month (35 social accounts, 16 users)
Premium plan – $249 per month (50 social accounts, 26 users)
Enterprise plan – Request a quote on their website
Renowned for being easy to use, Ripl is a great tool for creating content, scheduling, and analysing. With thousands of templates to choose from and recommended hashtags for audience targeting, it’s a tool which is super handy for all businesses.
Base plan – $14.99 per month (5 social profiles)
So, if you want to maximise engagement for your posts, and schedule your socials accordingly, you should know when is a good time to post on social. We’ve created an infographic on the best times to post on 4 of the main social media platforms – so you can maximise users engagement and interactions with posts. You can see our graphic, below.
It might be time to utilise all those social media platforms to their full extent. With each service gaining more and more users, Facebook is going to become even bigger this year. It’s a powerful marketing strategy to include SMM, and with a user base growing at an alarming rate, social media is not a market to miss out on. Refine your digital marketing in 2021 with Revive.Digital.
Check out our digital marketing services available.
Below, you’ll find a slideshow on social media management tools. If you find this information helpful, feel free to share it with your friends, colleagues, family or pets!
The Most Popular Social Networks in 2018 – Slideshare
The Most Popular Social Networks in 2019 – Slideshare
If you enjoyed reading our blog post on the most popular social media networks, then why not check out our own!