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Social Media Marketing (SMM): statistics and new strategies!

Social Media Marketing has become a must. Its benefits on brand image, online awareness, and customer acquisition are no longer in doubt. This article looks at key statistics to better understand the sector’s evolution. For example, we’ll see in never-before-seen graphs why the year 2021 was decisive for TikTok. Also, we provide several never-before-seen tips for your strategy on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Our summary table compiles all these tips to help you better understand social media marketing.

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5 Important Social Media Marketing Statistics

  • TikTok: 930 millionnew users between 2021 and 2022. That’s an increase of 822%!
  • Instagram will cross the 2 billionuser mark by early 2024.
  • In 2022, we will count 59 billionusers on social networks. This number will increase by 27% by 2027 to 5.85 billion users.
  • 59 billionpeople are on at least one network owned by Meta (owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger). That’s more than 77% of the world’s internet users.
  • For the first time, YouTube is losing ground: – 48 millionpeople between 2022 and 2023.

Number of users on social networks: evolution and analysis

Before looking at the inevitable strategic points on social networks in 2023, let’s look at the sector’s evolution since 2019. Indeed, the advent of Instagram and especially the explosion of TikTok have marked the minds in the last two years. In this case, these strong developments are felt in the number of users gained by the various social networks. Thus, find below the first graph showing the evolution of the user bases of the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Social Media Marketing strategy

Then the graph below allows us to understand the details of this evolution better. Indeed, we are interested in the annual variations for each network studied here. You will notice that for each yearly variation, we highlight the best-performing network of the year. For example, in 2020, Facebook recorded the best increase in its number of users, with 178 million subscribers in one year!

Social Media Marketing strategy

What can we learn from these annual developments?

  • TikTok is the social network showing the best growth over the last few years. More than 930 million people joined the platform between 2021 and 2022. Even more striking: the application has thus seen its user base increase by 822%over the same period!
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemicis felt in the number of additional users. That’s why WhatsApp, an instant messaging service, saw 400 million new subscribers between 2020 and 2021.
  • 2023 will be the year of Instagram. The photo and video-sharing platform will soon have more active accounts than WhatsApp. Moreover, this network will record the highest user increase in 2022, with 522 millionadditional registrations. At this rate, it is expected to reach about 2.25 billion users by early 2024.
  • Let’s keep an eye on YouTube. Its active users are down for the first time: -48 million peoplebetween 2022 and 2023. In addition, its revenue has suffered as it is down $200 million from the previous year.
  • Facebook is firmly established as the largest social network in the world. With a 30%increase in users between 2019 and 2023, it could exceed 3 billion accounts within a year.

social media marketing strategy

Which Social Media Marketing strategy to choose?

Let’s now tackle the strategic part of this article. To do so, we rely on recent academic research and case studies. We propose several recognized tips to boost your social media marketing campaigns on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

Which social media marketing for Facebook?

On this network, effective marketing involves a few tricks to boost your content. For a good reason, any Facebook post must be designed to engage users. (de Vries et al., 2012Dolan et al., 2017) Also, the platform’s algorithm favors so-called “native” content over external links. Thanks to these elements, Chawla & Chodak, 2021 propose some practical solutions to increase the engagement of one’s posts on Facebook:

  • External links : as mentioned before, the position of external links is crucial to the virality of Facebook content. Thus, if you want to redirect your followers to your site, place the link to your page in the comments. By doing so, your posts will collect more likes and comments than the competition.
  • Ideal posting time : This study shows that the best times are generally 8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, and 9 pm. Nevertheless, these hours change depending on the type of business, its geographical location, and marketing targets.
  • Publication frequency : although publication times vary, their ideal frequency remains the same: at least 2 to 3 hours between each publication.
  • Follower status : contrary to what some brands think, the number of online followers has very little impacton the volume of traffic on your Facebook page.
  • Positioning and customer conversion : another study by Pinto & Yagnik, 2017, focuses on user experience in the fitness tracker industry. In this case, focusing on what makes one’s brand strong and what their offering bringsis appropriate. For example, for fitness tracker companies, health, wellness, nutrition, and weight management are certain communication elements.

Which social media marketing for Instagram?

Once again, marketing positioning is paramount for the professional use of Instagram. We insist on this point because this network requires precise identification of buyer personas. This strategy is equally valid for brands with numerous and parsimonious market targets.

What is the ultimate goal of a successful campaign on Instagram? Get opinion leaders talking about your product.

Jessie Mou, 2020 uses the example of the viral potential of DIY (do-it-yourself) content. This is a good example of social media marketing on Instagram because it drives engagement. In addition, we are talking about products with high conversion rates and strong online appeal. This strategy is based on key prospects and customers to function optimally. Therefore, we refer you to our article on account-based marketing to better understand social media marketing on Instagram.

lead scoring

In another study dealing with Instagram, Chen, 2017 puts positive emotions at the heart of social media marketing strategies. Thus, brands trending on this network design their posts according to the image that consumers want to have for themselves.

The author takes the example of a fashion brand. The advent of filters on photos and videos online is an opportunity to seize this sector. Indeed, why not create one to push its users to use it, then share it with their entourage? This is one of the first steps of a viral marketing campaign! Simply put, do everything possible to create the perfect conditions for user engagement. In the case of Instagram, this often involves photo/video editing tools and user engagement.

Which social media marketing for LinkedIn?

Mora Cortez et al., 2023 propose 3 managerial solutions to boost user engagement through B2B content. Like any good social media marketing campaign on LinkedIn, this strategy is very strongly focused on the lead acquisition:

Managerial solution for LinkedIn Explanation
Sales messages generate leads and drive the conversation. On LinkedIn, there is nothing like highlighting your value proposition to increase your follower count. It makes it easier for users to access key information about your offer. Thus, you can capture their attention and convert them into customers more easily. Nevertheless, be careful not to flood your followers’ news feeds with exclusively commercial content.
Boosting your sales on LinkedIn means acquiring new leads by all means. Social media marketing applied to LinkedIn is based on developing your network. In other words, for B2B companies, this means increasing your prospect database. To do this, analyzing the socio-demographic criteria of your audience is a good starting point. To go further, look at the content creators they like on the platform, and follow their codes!
An active and willing company on LinkedIn strengthens its brand image. Thanks to new leads on LinkedIn, brands can increase their reach and engage their followers more easily. To reinforce the impact of your posts, don’t hesitate to encourage social interaction by mentioning members of your network!

Which social media marketing for TikTok?

Now, let’s look at the social network in vogue: TikTok. Its social media marketing is quite particular since it focuses mainly on the users’ emotions. Indeed, the platform’s content has mainly relied on positive or strong emotions to boost its growth. Rodriguez & Daniela, 2022 teach us that marketing on TikTok is not only about promoting products. Viral content on the platform should seek to create a connection with its audience.

However, only go some in on emotional marketing for your B2C campaigns. It can only meet some of the needs of TikTok users. This is especially true for brands with a hard online reputation: you must be more ingenious to change the public’s perceptions of your product.

Finally, we find a common point with LinkedIn. Social media marketing on TikTok must provide product information. According to Rodriguez & Daniela, 2022, this strategy positively influences consumer behavior in the long run.

Overview table

Social network Strategic key points
  • Optimize your content: external links in comments of the publication
  • Publication times: 8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, and 9 pm + at least 2 to 3 hours between each publication
  • Content differentiation: highlight brand values and value proposition
  • Accurately identify consumer profiles that are likely to become customers
  • Use this identification as a basis for the precepts of ABM(account-based marketing)
  • Boost your users’ engagement: create innovative filters and encourage your audience to share them
  • Good balance between commercial messages, informative content, and lighter posts
  • Build online awareness with content that pushes for social interaction
  • Same as Instagram: identify key consumer profiles to build your future campaigns

social media marketing sources


  • Audley, A. (2020). LinkedIn Statistics That You Need to Know in 2020. SEOquake.
  • Bouissière, Y. (2021). LinkedIn 2021 key figures. Proinfluent.
  • Chawla, Y. & Chodak, G. (2021). Social media marketing for businesses: Organic promotions of web-links on Facebook, Journal of Business Research, 135, 49-65.
  • Chen, H. (2017). College-Aged Young Consumers’ Perceptions of Social Media Marketing: The Story of Instagram, Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising,
  • de Vries, L., Gensler, S., & Leeflang, P. S. H. (2012). Popularity of Brand Posts on Brand Fan Pages: An Investigation of the Effects of Social Media Marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), 83–91.
  • Dixon, S. (2023). Number of social media users worldwide from 2017 to 2027. Statista.
  • Dolan, R., Conduit, J., Fahy, J. and Goodman, S. (2017), “Social media: communication strategies, engagement and future research directions”, International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 2-19.
  • Lin, Y. (2022). 10 LinkedIn statistics every marketer should know in 2022. Oberlo.
  • Mora Cortez, R. & Ghosh Dastidar, A. (2022). A longitudinal study of B2B customer engagement in LinkedIn: The role of brand personality. Journal of Business Research, 145, 92-105.
  • Mou, J. (2020). Study on social media marketing campaign strategy – TikTok and Instagram. MIT Libraries.
  • Pinto, M.B., Yagnik, A. (2017). Fit for life: A content analysis of fitness tracker brands use of Facebook in social media marketing. Journal of Brand Management, 24, 49–67.
  • Prodromou, T. (2019). Ultimate Guide to Linkedin for Business. Entrepreneur Press, 3.
  • Rodriguez, V. & Daniela, C. (2022). The TikTok effect: A case study on emotional marketing through social media. Linnaeus University.
  • The Linked In Man. (2019). Around the world with LinkedIn in 2019.
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Pierre-Nicolas is de directeur van de marketing agentschap IntoTheMinds. Hij heeft speciaal interesse voor e-commerce, retail, HoReCa en supply-chain projecten. Hij is ook een onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel en werkt ook als coach voor meerde publieke organisaties. Hij verwelkomt Linkedin uitnodigingen : gelieve gewoon een paar woorden toe te voegen en uit te leggen waarom U wilt connecteren.

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