11 Social Media Advertising Statistics for 2021

by Kedet | December 14, 2020


What are some social media advertising statistics in 2020 that can guide us in 2021?
Smart advertisers always look to trends to determine where they should place their ad investment in the year ahead. Ad statistics can help you understand what to do next.

This post outlines the 11 most important advertising statistics on social media. It will include keen insights on what social advertising channels are best to invest your money as we move into 2021.

Here’s a glance at eleven trends we’ve observed over the year:

11 Social Media Advertising
Statistics from 2020

2020 has been quite a year! Most B2C and B2B companies had to adapt quickly due to COVID-19. Consumer behavior has also shifted throughout the last 12 months, resulting in significant changes to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media advertising statistics. That’s why we’ve assembled the ones that matter here.

#1: The Pandemic Has People Using Mobile More

Smartphones have been keeping people occupied and taking their minds off of the pandemic.
Because of many city-wide mandates of sheltering at home to stop the spread of COVID-19, people have been turning online to procure groceries and other shopping needs. Many brick-and-mortar stores were forced to shut down and had to pivot online.

Many brands had to pause their marketing campaigns or reduce their budget at the early stages of COVID-19, which meant fewer competitors bidding for ad space. Brands that took the opportunity to advertise during this time were able to gain higher engagement rates with their audience online.

This resulted in a 15% growth in mobile ad engagement in 2020.

#2: Influencers Have Double the Selling Power Celebrities Do

20% of American shoppers have bought something because of an influencer or blogger, while only 10% have bought something because of a celebrity.

It’s advertising 101 – sponsor a person with influence, and you’ll sell more products. But no-one dreamed that influencers would work better than top-tier celebrities. There’s something about proximity, connection, and access that makes people really listen to online influencers.

Editor’s Note: Looking to partner up with influencers? Here is the Influencer Marketing Fraud Survival Guide!

#3: Sell More Products Directly From Social Media Ads

Of the 63% (two thirds) of consumers that have clicked on a social media advert, 33% made a direct purchase, according to an Episerver survey on cross-channel consumer preferences.

Social advertising is still leading the pack in 2021, with influencers selling more products and services from social posts than ever before. These built-in audiences are happy to buy, right from the post itself. What this means is that this year, you should consider more direct advertising messages.

By the end of 2020, Emarketer predicts that advertisers will devote around two-thirds of their display ad budgets to native ads.

Native Ads are most commonly found on social media platforms.

Native ads are particularly powerful when used in your consumer’s feed or content they’re already consuming on a social network. Investing in content that teaches consumers about your products and services will pay off big time this year.

#5: Social Media is Still The Most Relevant Ad Platform

According to DataReportal, there’s been a 7.8% (255 million) increase in active social media users across the globe since 2019. Some 46% of global consumers are active on social media sites.

If you’ve been concerned about people leaving Facebook and Twitter in droves – don’t be. The social media advertising statistics are clear-cut in this case, and social is still highly relevant. In 2021, launching a diverse, cross-channel social media advertising campaign is an excellent investment.

#6: Facebook Ads Have the Most Predictable ROI in Social

93% of all social media advertisers use Facebook Ads on a regular basis.

Thanks to programmatic ad targeting, it’s easy to get a decent return on your investment on Facebook. That’s why so many advertisers keep on using Facebook once they begin. It’s harder to get extraordinary results, but you’ll never get there if you don’t have campaign data to review.

#7: Your Advertising in 2021 Needs to Be More Diverse & Reflective

61% of Americans believe that diversity in advertising is important.

People prefer diversity in your brand advertising.

We especially love the article, “Diversity in advertising: the art of being self-aware and giving a damn”. It references a study Google had hired an external non-profit organization to review their advertisements. What the results showed was that there was plenty of racial diversity in their ads, but interestingly enough, not enough diversity in socio-economic status and gender roles. Google reflected on this and was able to create a training course on diversity and 90% of the company completed the course the same year. The biggest takeaway is that it isn’t hard to achieve diversity in advertising. We all need to be aware, empathetic and speak up. By doing so creates a safe and diverse environment, which will encourage us all to call out inequality or lack of representation when we see it.

Another example of being reflective is especially important ever since the pandemic hit. Due to the COVID-19, people look for sincerity and genuine kindness and care from a brand perspective. Advertisers had to pivot their ad creatives to fit the current social landscape. Take a look at an analysis of commercials in this pandemic:

In 2021, it’s a good idea to invest effort into making your social media ads more inclusive and diverse, showing a wide range of people, genders, orientations, and races. Not only is it a fair representation of society, but It’s also what the buying public likes to see.

#8: Video Ads Get Incredible Engagement Rates

Videos on Instagram get 2X the engagement of videos on other social media networks, and the best length for these is less than 30 seconds.

Another social media platform that has gained a lot of traction in 2020 was TikTok. It had gone through a series of dramas with the US government, but TikTok is here to stay. It’s a highly engaging and user-friendly video app.

TikTok is expected to exceed 1 billion monthly active users in 2021 (alongside other giants like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, WhatsApp, and WeChat).

Both Instagram and TikTok offer video advertising options on their platforms.

Social media targeting has made it possible for you to use a highly engaging medium like video on a highly-engaging platform like Instagram or TikTok – to get your audience to take action. In 2021, you’ll want to focus on Instagram videos if your brand engagement isn’t where it should be online.

#9: Targeted Twitter Ads are Welcome on The Platform

Some 73% of Twitter users said that they find their feed’s ads informative, and 67% said those ads were relevant and not intrusive at all, according to an IPG Mediabrands survey.

Some of the best paid social media results come from platforms like Twitter. In-feed ads can be valuable and useful to your Twitter audience. In 2021, it will pay off to explore different ad messages that can convert your audience on such an open platform.

#10: Mobile Video Ads are Where the Eyeballs Are

Emarketer predicts that by 2022, there will be 205 million mobile video content viewers, and these individuals will spend longer than 30 minutes watching videos on their devices.

This is one of those reasons why you should advertise on mobile devices! With mobile video viewership skyrocketing, advertisers need to be where the viewers are. In 2021, investing in rewarded video ads and other mobile video ads is a safe bet.

#11: LinkedIn is an Untapped B2B Goldmine

50% of all social media traffic to B2B websites and blogs comes from LinkedIn. Not Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram. LinkedIn!

As advertising statistics on social media sites go, this one could shock you. If you’re a B2B company and you’re not advertising on LinkedIn – it’s time to change in 2021. Focusing on your content and programmatic ads could give your company a massive boost in traffic and leads it needs.
As advertising statistics on social media sites go, this one could shock you. If you’re a B2B company and you’re not advertising on LinkedIn – it’s time to change in 2021. Focusing on your content and programmatic ads could give your company a massive boost in traffic and leads it needs.

To Summarize…

These social media advertising statistics should trigger some great ideas for your next campaign. From running a direct sales Facebook ad to hiring your first influencer – it’s clear that 2021 will be the year of social, mobile selling.

What Have We Learned?

    • Take note of social media advertising trends in 2020 to gear up for your 2021 marketing strategy!
    • The global usage of smartphones has increased an hour per day due to the pandemic.
    • 15% increase in mobile ad engagement in 2020.
    • 20% of US shoppers bought something because of an influencer.
    • Out of 63% of people who click on social media ads, 33% made a purchase directly.
    • At the end of 2020, two-thirds of digital ad spend will be allocated to display ads and native ads.
    • Since 2019, there have been 255 million new active social media users.
    • 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook Ads regularly.
    • Ads that depict inclusivity are 25% more useful and engaging than their non-inclusive counterparts.
    • Instagram videos get two times more engagement compared to any other social media.
    • TikTok is to exceed 1 billion monthly users by 2021.
    • Twitter users find the ads targeted to them in their newsfeeds to be informative and relevant.
    • It’s predicted that by 2022, there will be over 200 million views of mobile video content, and on average, will watch videos on their device for more than 30 minutes.
    • 50% of social media traffic to B2B websites comes from LinkedIn.
    • To sum it all up, a robust social media advertising strategy for 2021 will be video-heavy and optimized for mobile user experience!
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