The 21 Best Social Media Research Reports Every Marketer Should Read
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Every content marketer needs data from time to time. Your articles need to be authoritative and convincing, and good data makes this possible.
And sometimes, finding this information can be a real pain in the neck. Which is the last thing you need when you’re on a deadline.
So we’ve tracked down a whole host of quotable statistical research reports. The kind that give your writing a little extra potency.
You’ll have all the ammunition you need for your next killer social marketing post.
And best of all – none of these studies were published before 2017. So you know you’re getting the most up-to-date information available.
Time to dive in!
Looking for Instagram data based on real user behavior? Mention took more than 115 million Instagram posts, crunched the data, and came away with some pretty extraordinary findings.
This is different from many of the other reports in this list, because it’s based on actual user behavior These are real posts, with real engagement numbers.
This is a great example of a “state of” report. Later polled more than 3,500 businesses, brands, and influencers, wanting to know what the trends would be for 2018. This is powerful stuff for marketing writers, because it lets you speak with authority about what brands care about when it comes to to Instagram.
The data is especially useful for discussing how businesses plan to allocate their resources. You’ll find questions on Instagram advertising spend, promotion versus community building, and influencer marketing.
At the end of the year, Instagram likes to post a roundup of the previous 12 months. It includes information relevant to marketers like the most popular hashtags, most-liked posts, and top videos of that year.
It also includes more fun facts like the most popular filters used, and even the top pet accounts on the platform. Dogs are clearly a big hit on Insta!
If you’re looking for quotable facts and stats, this is the page for you. It doesn’t contain original findings; instead, it pulls out key numbers from all over the web.
Couldn’t you just use Google? Well, sure. But this site saves you from bouncing around. Plus, they keep it updated, so you can safely assume that your data is up to date.
Click that link above and you’ll land on a specific Statista report: the number of active monthly Twitter users worldwide. Which is nice. But you really need to explore all of Statista’s numbers.
Scroll down a little and you’ll find links to user demographics, mobile usage, and Twitter use by brands. Basically, you’ve got a lot of clicking around to do, but it’s worth it!
Statista also has a ton of great information about the other social networks, industry marketing trends, and plenty more. Check it out!
This one’s perfect if you need a quick source of Twitter information. It may not be as surprising as the next two on the list, but it’s helpful to color in your next post.
This page has all the basics: number of monthly Twitter users, percentage of those on mobile, Twitter users in the UK and US, and plenty more. These are all statistics you can find elsewhere, but Omnicore has put them all together for you!
This one is very different, but the data may prove interesting to brands and marketers. Twice a year, Twitter releases data about a whole host of issues facing the network. This includes requests for information (from governments or otherwise), the number and location of blocked users, copyright requests, and more.
For writers interested in the bigger Twitter picture, this can be valuable and interesting insight.
Another study for writers with a particular angle or niche. This one looks specifically at Twitter use among governments and world leaders.
And it goes into remarkable detail, looking at things such as mutual connections between world leaders, whether they favor text or more visual communications, and hashtag use amongst these powerful people.
At the end of the year, Facebook IQ takes these reports, fills in a few blanks, and releases an overarching study to sum of the year. Thanks to the breadth of topics covered, it’s a potential goldmine for most marketers:
Buzzsumo does a lot of social media analysis. In this study, they looked at more than 880 million Facebook posts from July 2016 – June 2017. And they found something startling.
Engagement for posts of all types plummeted in January 2017. The study attributes this to a greater emphasis being placed on Facebook advertising, and organic reach becoming harder to achieve.
The study has plenty of great nuggets, which will help any marketers who needs to know about Facebook engagement rates.
As you can probably guess, CPC Strategy is focused on social media advertising. So this study is all about consumer behavior as it relates to advertisers. If you want to know why Facebook users click here and not there, this study is a great place to start.
The company partnered with Survata for a 1,500-person survey. While this isn’t a huge number, we get a great idea of how Facebook users respond to ads. And of course, there are some excellent numbers for those looking for quotable tidbits!
Let’s end on a super-quotable piece. Similar to the Omnicore page above, Wordstream has scoured the web for a whole heap of digestible Facebook stats.
If you need a few numbers for your blog intro, or to strengthen an argument, this is an excellent resource.
Here’s another nice piece tying together lots of different data. Snapchat was a media and marketing darling in very recent memory, and has since faded from view somewhat. But that doesn’t mean that marketers don’t care about the platform – they just need away to make it work.
This post has 4 main sections: user statistics (demographics), usage statistics (number and types of snaps sent), Snap Inc. revenue, and Snapchat versus Instagram. So if any of these float your boat, give it a look!
One of the key social media trends of late is Instagram Stories. Instagram marketing is hotter than ever, and brands are looking for ways to better leverage the image platform.
Naturally, they’re turning their attention to Stories, a feature that takes up a lot of valuable real estate in the Instagram layout. But as we know, Instagram Stories are basically Snapchat Stories, and perhaps marketers shouldn’t be too quick to ignore the original.
This piece uses data to comlet’s the two, which is perfect for marketers unsure of the main differences.
This one is a double-whammy. The Daily Beast got its hands on 5 months of daily user data from Snapchat, which gives you some nice statistics to work with. That’s the link above.
But this is accompanied by a scintillating article detailing the company culture and work life at Snapchat, and explains why this data was never supposed to be released.
Both are worth checking out (and quoting), but there’s plenty of interesting activity data for those not interested in the juicy details.
This is a very nice resource! It’s interactive, which is nice, and let’s isolate the statistics you really care about.
Choose data for large countries like the US, UK, or India, pick your industry, or select from a range of categories like celebrities, sport, or brands.
Sometimes, you just want a nice visual breakdown of social stats. Filmora has done exactly this. This study provides both standard data points (number of daily users, number of videos uploaded daily), and some less obvious ones (video removals for copyright reasons, average length of video by genre, and more).
As always, the goal is to find easy-to-use data about social media, and this post has you covered for YouTube.
We’ve included a Statista report above, and, really, could’ve probably found one for every section of this post. Seriously, it’s a great site and worth clicking around. Some of the data needs to be paid for, but there’s plenty available gratis.
The YouTube section of the site includes data on channels and creators, YouTube usage, marketing and advertising spend, so all of the must-know data points for marketers.
Social Media Trends
Not every social media marketing post is platform-specific. It can be just as interesting to look at the global social picture, and consider how these technologies should impact marketing.
Here are the social media studies to use next time you write about the state of social media.
This brief but attention-capturing infographic gives a few overarching social media trends, and then compares each of the major platforms. It also contains particularly interesting demographic data for each of the major networks, to give data-driven social marketers a few more clues.
The data comes from a range of sources, including the social networks themselves, plus major players like Shopify, Digiday, and Convince & Convert.
Here’s another great stats round-up. Easy to read, not too long, and full of great data to pull out. Plus, you can download the whole thing as an infographic, which is always neat.
There’s not much more to say about, really. If you can’t find something interesting in this, you need a better imagination.
It’s no surprise that Generation Z (young people born between 1996 and 2010) are highly attached to social media. But as this generation enters the workforce over the next decade (and the consumer-force), it’s important for marketers to understand what makes them tick.
AdWeek put together this infographic after interviewing around 1,500 teens ages 13-20. There are plenty of tasty stats (including the one in the title) which help us learn more about these young people we’ll soon all be sharing a cubicle with. And of course, it’s all social media-related.
BONUS: 70 Social Media Stats to Share With Your Team
Still need more stats to power your research? Snag this free infographic packed with 70 social media facts and figures to help guide your strategic decision-making.
Ready to Execute Your Social Media Strategy? Read These Next.
Time to Get Writing
So that's one huge list of social media reports, including some of the biggest highlights from each. Now you'll have no excuse not to spice up your next post with a little extra data.
So what did we miss? Are there any spectacular social media studies you rely on for your data-driven work?
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April 26, 2018