social media statisticsSocial Media is changing faster than ever, as if that wasn’t something everyone already knew!

If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are ten that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

1. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.

  • This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
  • The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
  • For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
  • For Google+, 56%.

Those are impressive numbers against the prevailing idea that social media is ‘just for teenagers.’ It certainly points to the importance of having a solid social media strategy if these age brackets fit into your target demographic.

Rethink it: Keep older users in mind when using social media, particularly on these three platforms. Our age makes a difference to our taste and interests, so if you’re focusing on younger users with the content you post, you could be missing an important demographic.

2. 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’

Not only does Facebook have millions of users who don’t access it from a desktop or laptop, but mobile use generates 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue as well. This is a 7% increase from the end of 2012 already.

social media stats - phone use

Rethink it: There are probably more users accessing Facebook from mobile devices than you thought. It’s worth considering how your content displays on mobile devices and smaller screens before posting it, particularly if your target market is full of mobile users. Of course, make sure to make sharing to social media from mobile more straight forward.

3. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network

Did you think TV was the best way to reach the masses? Well if you’re after 18–34 year olds in the U.S., you’ll have more luck reaching them through YouTube. Of course, one video won’t necessarily reach more viewers than a cable network could, but utilizing a platform with such a wide user base makes a lot of sense.

Rethink it: If you’ve been putting off adding video to your strategy, now’s the time to give it a go. You could start small with simple five minutes videos explaining what your company does or introducing your team.


4. Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, continues to grow every second. From groups to blogs to job listings, this platform is a rich source of information and conversation for professionals who want to connect to others in their industry.

Rethink it: LinkedIn is definitely worth paying attention to. In particular, this is a place where you may want to focus more on new users. Making your group or community a great source of information and a newbie-friendly space can help you to make the most out of the growing userbase.

Make sure you share consistently to your LinkedIn company page and profile by for example scheduling your posts.

social media statistics

5. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web

We all knew social media was popular, but this popular? Apparently it’s the most common thing we do online. So next time you find yourself watching Kitten vs. Watermelon videos on Facebook, you can at least console yourself with the fact that the majority of people online right now are doing something similar.

Social media carries more weight than ever. It’s clearly not a fad, or a phase. It continues to grow as a habit, and new platforms continue to appear and develop.

Rethink it: Putting time and effort into your social media strategy clearly makes sense in light of these stats. If you weren’t already serious about social media, you might want to give it a bit more of your time now.


6. LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook

Although LinkedIn is gathering new users at a fast rate, the number of active users is lower than most of the biggest social networks around. So more people are signing up, but they’re not participating. This means you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter.

Rethink it: If you’re hoping to get people involved, think about which platforms are best for that. Looking at the latest Twitter statistics and Facebook statistics, these platforms might be a better place for your contest or survey, while passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.


7. 93% of marketers use social media for business

Only 7% of marketers say they don’t use social media for their business. That means there are lots of people out there getting involved and managing a social media strategy. It’s becoming more common to include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

Rethink it: If you’re struggling to make your strategy work, or you just want some advice, you don’t have to go it alone. If 93% of marketers are using social media for business, you can probably find someone to give you a hand. Plus, there are lots of blogs, videos and slide decks around to help you out. Be sure to find the right social media management tool for you to stay on top of everything.

Source: Social Media Video 2013

8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them

social media stats - phone

It’s pretty clear that mobile is a growing space that we need to pay attention to. And we’ve all heard the cliché of smartphone owners who don’t want to let go of their phones, even for five minutes. Well, apparently that’s not too far from the truth. If 25% of people aged 18–44 can’t remember not having their phone with them, there are probably very few times when they’re not connected to the web in some way.

Rethink it: While you can reach people almost anytime, since they have their smartphones with them almost always, this also means you can interrupt pretty much any part of their lives. Don’t forget that having a phone in your pocket all the time isn’t the same as being available all the time.


9. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger

Blogging is clearly a big focus for marketers who want to take advantage of social media and content marketing. This is great, because blogging for your business has lots of advantages: you can control your company blog, you can set the tone and use it to market your product, share company news or provide interesting information for your customers. With only 9% of marketing companies hiring bloggers full-time, however, the pressure to produce high-quality content consistently will be a lot higher.

What a lot of people struggle here is how to write the best headlines for your articles, when the best time is to publish posts and lots of other blogging questions that arise when people are starting out.

(Of course, not all marketers work at marketing companies, but the stats are still interesting—how many companies in any industry can afford to hire—or already have—a full-time blogger?)

Rethink it: If you don’t have (or can’t afford) a full-time blogger for your business, be aware that having a content strategy that requires consistently posting on your blog will mean a lot of work for your marketing team and/or other team members in your company to keep up that volume. This can work, it’s just important to realize how big a task it is to run with a full-time content strategy without a full-time content creator.


10. 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings

We’ve seen a lot of news about social media companies and privacy. Facebook itself has been in the news several times over privacy issues, Instagram users recently got in a kerfuffle over changing their terms of service, and the recent NSA news has seen people become more conscious of their privacy online.

But despite these high-profile cases of security-conscious users pushing back against social networks and web services, Velocity Digital reports that 25% of Facebook users don’t even look at their privacy settings.

social media stats - privacy

Rethink it: Assuming that all of your customers are thinking along the same lines could be a big mistake. Especially if you’re basing that on what you’ve heard or read in the tech news. Remember that your customers might have very different priorities than what you expect.


Your social media strategy really comes down to what your goals are, and who your target customers are, but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the trends happening across the web. Hopefully these stats will help you to identify trends that will affect your strategy and adjust accordingly.

For more social media studies take a look at this post.

Oh and before I forget, we’ve recently launched the new Buffer for Business. Take a look, it’s the most powerful Buffer yet to help you better manage your social media everywhere.

Update: We’ve written a few follow-on posts about Twitter and Facebook statistics here. For more insights about Twitter stats and Twitter statistics check out this post. For tips about the latest Facebook stats and Facebook statistics, read more here.

Image credits: JLM Photography, mkhmarketingjeffbullas.comSocial Media Video 2013

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Written by Belle Beth Cooper

Belle is the first Content Crafter at Buffer and co-founder of Exist. She writes about social media, startups, lifehacking and science.

  • Naveen Nanchari

    Thanks Belle.
    Interesting Stats. Now got a better idea to develop a strategy 🙂

    • Belle

      Awesome, hope it’s helpful 🙂

  • I think it’s also worth noting that social media isn’t the intern’s job anymore. A successful approach will require some high-level strategy. One of the many reasons to hire a full time blogger/content creator is to keep the voice of the brand consistent on all platforms.

    • Age

      Hmm, nope it’s still the intern’s job. Most people join social media to learn more about their friends and family – not to follow some companies. The sooner companies realize that their “likes” come from their own employees, the less impact it actually has…

      • When it’s the interns job, there is a much greater chance that the fans are all employees.

        • Anadi Sharma

          I second jimmy on this one

          • Thomas Lavis

            I do social media for a small company. We have 3 staff, and 3.3k facebook page likes. Last time I checked we definitely didn’t hire 2,297 staff. Consistency is the key – and also familiarizing yourself with the hardcore fans. They become offended if you don’t recognize them, and are much more valuable if you do.

          • Anadi Sharma

            I second you, but fans is shear number. I can get you 10,000 likers in a matter of 5 days. It all boils upto, how genuine your likers/followers are

          • Karagracetx

            boom. #amyonecanpayforlikes

      • Steve

        Woah.. If you are involved in advertising, you will be mowing yards in five years with that mentaility.

      • Mktg_Whiz

        Correct. It depens on your product’s audience and in your marketing strategy.

        • And what you or your client considers important. My world is powered by B2B and hence all currencies are bottom line impactful or don’t count. You need to be cognisant of the currency of your client. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

      • genghiskaan

        i agree with you that it’s the interns job to actually post stuff, but he should be doing a study that involves marketing and should be guided by a manager who knows what he’s doing because he learned as an intern an kept with the new developments over time.

        and also if your company has employees who like something it wil still have a significant reach, if you can’t see value in internal communication try faxing them your memo mister 1990

    • KeeperOfTheCaffeine

      I think you missed one word….SUCCESSFUL social media isn’t the intern’s job anymore. Although, success is relative and can mean so many different things to each company or person. Regardless, you need someone directing it to reach whatever that marker of success may be.

      • Thanks for catching that!

        • lauristevens

          Anymore? Successful social media was NEVER the intern’s job.

          • It certainly shouldn’t be but in my experience it often is.

          • Successful social media THAT ADDS TO THE BOTTOM LINE was NEVER the intern’s job 🙂
            Best wishes,
            The Linked In Man

          • Bleu Rose Boyér-Villa

            From firsthand experience with many large businesses (both successful and others… not so much…)… many times over, YES it was, and YES it sadly still often is.

    • Dusty Goen

      I completely agree with you! I’m on the job search for Community Manger and Social Media Manager roles and most of the jobs out there are “Intern” level but asking for the experience of someone 5 years into the business…big disconnect. Social Media is a lot more complicated to do well than companies realize:)

      • It is because many business thin social and web “stuff” is one thing and it’s a tick box hygiene activity (wrong on both counts) and hence don’t focus or invest enough time in activity, tactics or strategic thought. When I share case studies with tangible bottom line use cases in the tens of millions then they pay attention and sit forward, until then it just meh. Hope that helps in a small way and good luck with your hunt. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  • #5 seems suspect to me, as is the source.

    Here’s a more reliable source:

    • Belle

      That’s a great source, thanks! Interesting that it doesn’t mention porn at all, that I could see.

      • Perhaps it is filtered out? I had heard that before but never identified source. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

    • Carl Wright

      Thanks Gregory for the link. Really liked how thoroughly Pew did their questions on the surveys.

  • Elsa

    #1: smaller groups means more growth while people keep aging / adopting social media. Youger targets have smaller growth percentage because those are already very saturated.

    #3 : It has more audience but you have less chance of being seen. Youtube is the tool to upload your videos, but is not so good if you want to use its community to promote the video. You need to reach certain relevance to be found, so, your strategy sould start showing the video outside of youtube.

    • Belle

      Great point about #1, I’m sure that has a lot to do with it.

    • YouTube activity can be greatly enhanced with a viable presence on Google+… don’t forget that Google owns both Google+ & YouTube and is actively integrating the two.

    • Helleren Gregory

      I include video’s I uploaded on youtube in some of my blogs. I find it very useful, especially the analytics. My recent blog is about what I’m finding out about social media.

  • David Pride

    Interesting stats. I cannot tell you how often a client begins a conversation with…”We just hired an intern for our social, can you help her/him out?” haha

  • Superb report!

    • Belle

      Glad you liked it!

  • If social media marketing has over taken porn as the most consumed content then the sooner you complete a social media audit 2013 to better your chances of success

    • Neil is a good guy to have Audit your social media presense.

  • I love this breakdown. Number 1 was really surprising. Number 5 is hilarious. I want to see the information to prove this haha.

    • Belle

      Might be a bit tricky to prove numbers for one of those activities…!

      • Hahahaha. You are correct.

  • ServicEngineBPO

    Hey Belle Beth Cooper, thanks for such a nice analytical writing. People should re-think their social media strategies based on your findings.


    • Belle

      Thanks, glad you liked it!

  • Awesome post Belle Beth. Here’s a few other stats that are relevant:

    Google+ has 343 Million active users, many of whom will see personalized search results (by default) on the most used search engine in the world. Search, Plus Your World. Need I say more?

    Another cool stat is that Buffer has more than 500,000 active users and I am proud to say that I am one of them 🙂

    • Belle

      Awesome Rick! We’re glad to have you as a user at Buffer 🙂

  • Excellent posts and ways to strategize SM for growing markets, I love the first entry with the largest growing being the 55-65 age bracket, surprising to me.

  • The Lightwurx

    Full-time blogger? I need a full-time tweeter, facebooker, pinterester, google +er, etc. so many opportunities for effective marketing with all of them. I signed up for linkedin a while back and wasn’t active for quite a while. I got on again recently only to see, yeah, it’s gotten very popular and there are lots of opportunities there too!

    • Bruce Martin

      Hi, what’s your email? I might know someone to help you.

    • Julie

      If you need a fulltime blogger…I might be able to help with that

  • Tracy Hallam MBACP

    Some interesting facts, it goes to show social media is important in business.Thank you for sharing.

  • Kimball Diamond

    None of these numbers take into account what is being spent. Numbers of visitors don’t necessarily equate to cash flow or ‘converting’. Blogging, really any social media presence, to be effective has to engender a sense of authenticity, a newness, and a strong voice. Crafting of a public image isn’t something left to folks new to the business.

  • Kelly

    Nice reading! A bunch of data give a comprehensive view on social media. Social analytics help me to revise my Buffer Schedule and make my tweets more popular. Uniqloud also offered a free social media market overview and talked a lot about how to analyze these data.

  • AndySm1th

    I think you need to be careful when taking about growth percentages, yes it might have grown 79%, but it “could” still only account for less than 1% of your audience. You don’t want to start changing a strategy based on growth, but look at segmenting your own audience first.

    Besides, 79% growth could have been 100 people growing to 179 people. Number might not be as big as you hope.

    • Statistically you could deliver 100% growth easily, going from an audience of 1 to 2 🙂 I think you’re absolutely right Andy. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  • Regarding #1: It simply means 45-55 year old have accepted social media as a part of their lives, it’s not a fad and it’s not going anywhere.

    Not at all surprised by #3. In our office, I employ a few in this demo and most of them don’t even have cable TV.

  • Steve

    There are some staggering numbers out there of young people ditching Twitter for Instagram. Twitter tried to innovate with Vine….which is an awesome platform. Then Instagram kicked its teeth in with video. Twitter will die within five years.

  • Nuno

    #2 is a vital point, but for tablets as well as mobile. Facebook is now reporting 41% of their ad-sales coming from those 2 platforms.

  • simonecas

    Finally, an interesting article about social media, a bit fed up of reading 7 ways do this and 10 ways to do that…

  • disqus_37sUqu87V8

    Gracias por informar

  • Adrian

    Thanks Belle Beth Cooper, for writing this article. It will be a great foundation for my social media marketing strategy. Really enjoyed it!

  • MorganFleurDeLys

    Great article. Thanks for opening our eyes to cool stats!

  • Lucy Chen

    Em, one thing if should do immediately is to find a plugin for my site to make it mobile device friendly. I have noticed many fans of my page using mobile. Thank you.

  • MathFileFolderGames

    Why no mention of Pinterest? It is by far the biggest source of traffic to my site.

  • Sandeep Reddy Santhosham

    thanks a lot for sharing an awesome article on social media.thanks for educating us.

  • riya

    Really its a nice book ..but i found Finally An inspirational & Life changing book in this Decade-One Book for Life Success by Mr Venu G.Somineni

  • Gray Hammond

    #6: Most LinkedIn members have JOBS, so naturally they’re not checking it every day!

    • It’s a missed opportunity if you think it is all jobs Gray. I don’t ever work with recruiters or job seekers I only work with corporate organisations and they are there for what it delivers bottom line, not just recruitment. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  • Nunah Mikhail

    I Never
    ever found such edifying blogs.
    comment pirater un compte

  • Thanks for the post Belle. #1 and #6 were real eye openers to me but I will certainly keep those stats in mind moving forward.

    My company is a member of the 91% club. We do NOT have a full time blog writer (yet). We have experimented with several but cannot seem to find a blog writer that knows enough about CURRENT social media.
    These experiments invariably end up with a top officer having to re-write the post. This obviously defeats the purpose.

    Many of our clients are in the same boat. They find it incredibly difficult to find someone to write intelligently about their industry without spending an arm and a leg.
    It’s easy to find a good writer for less important assignments from one of many sites, but finding someone to write your blog is TOUGH!!

  • Excelente artigo Belle Beth!
    Nos dá uma visão ampla e esclarecedora sobre as principais redes sociais e nos faz enxergar o quão importante são as redes para o sucesso em geral de muitas empresas.
    Obrigado por compartilhar!
    Tomé Ferreira

  • Reputation Managers

    Interesting to see such a high percentage of marketers using social media!

  • keagan

    hi if anyone here loves social media check out

  • Well said, it is not false that 30% media shift on social share.

  • Batrepreneur

    I really had fun reading your review as I think most of the points are very true.
    I assume that I can’t afford ignoring LinkedIn anymore.

  • alexandria scott

    Amazing!. Your knowledge has given us information that can really help and guide us.

  • Felix Brown

    The real message
    is that all businesses, large or small, need to figure out how to be more
    social if they want to do well and grow in the future!

  • Akash Agarwal

    Today Social media is very helpful. Thanks for such nice and useful social media statics to make social strategy.

  • guptaabhijit318

    Great Post! This is great information to help me. Very detailed and useful to help us with our social reach. Thanks!

  • Wow, these are some really surprising stats. It really helps me kind of sit back and say, “Okay. I don’t need to spend that much time here in my marketing efforts.”

  • Whats wrong if a social media marketer fails to bring organic traffic on twitter and finally decides to buy some retweets and favorites from a seller and mixes them with the real ones ? I do! And i find it great

  • swag
  • venajensen

    I think social media is going to become MORE integrated into our lives in the future – but will change immensely over time. It will be interesting to see what happens. That said, the most successful use of social media by companies are the ones that recognize the power of the fans to make or break their image.It’s no longer about telling the fans what to think about your product, but realizing how your product or service changes their lives for the better and helping them draw those conclusions themselves – and then share with their connections the difference they experience. I think we don’t always see the numbers online in terms of how we influence our target audiences – impact can be much more subtle than that.

  • Lauren-Kelly Anderson

    This was great and pretty accurate article! I was working as an intern for and it really helped me realize these things. When you see how social media works in practice, you realize you can really use it to boost your business strategy.
    Thanks for the post, all the best!

  • Stella Tyler

    Smart devices have more space in today’s life rather than having for relationships in own home. But these devices are very helpful to organize number of things.

  • The mobile percentage is really huge, and since this article was written
    it has probably increased significantly. On one of my websites
    analytics says about 90% of visitors are on mobiles or tablets! Really illustrates the importance of having a responsive design on your pages etc.

    was surprised by the low amount of companies emplying bloggers. Is it
    because they don’t believe in written blogs or is it because they are
    lazy or uncalibrated?

  • The purpose of social networks is to do just that—allow social
    interaction within our networks. And when it comes to using social media
    for businesses, I can’t help but notice that so many companies seem to
    be taking the wrong approach.

  • There is obviously no denying the fact that social platforms are the most popular customer touchpoints. This makes it even more crucial for businesses to reach out to customers using mobile platforms. caters to both these needs using one single platform – a support desk for mobile applications which also provides social support to app users.

  • Ronaldo Steve

    know about the youtube users and How do youtubers get paid

  • Ronaldo Steve

    to know about the youtube users and How much money do youtubers make .. to know more visit lifegag magazine

  • Vinoth Nair

    How to get users demography for ? any tool or api for this

  • Matheo Gallant

    Very informative article! Social media is indeed one of the easiest and fastest growing medium where you can set up a strategy for your business. But learning how to use it properly is a different story so you have to be equipped with the right tools and strategies as well.

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  • Splendid!
    I really had fun reading your review as I think most of the points are very true.
    I assume that I can’t afford ignoring LinkedIn anymore.
    read my article

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