Social media has forever changed how we use the internet, consume media, and think about buying products. Content creators, also known as “influencers,” have emerged on all major platforms and now play a significant role in the marketing landscape as they partner with brands for promotion through sponsored content.
With 17 social media platforms sporting over 300 million active users and 4.74 billion social media users worldwide (and both of those numbers continuing to grow), no wonder it’s a struggle to keep up with all of the latest social media marketing tactics.
Read on to learn which social media platforms are the most popular, which platform is the most used for influencer marketing today, and which platforms are the most effective, consistently generating a high return on investment (ROI).
What Are The Most Popular Social Media Platforms?
Social media preferences and behaviors differ across age groups, nationalities, and more, and yet, it is one of the great globalizers bringing the world together in a shared digital space. Below is a graph of the top 10 most popular social media platforms in the world today.
Pictured: Most Popular Social Media Platforms in 2022 (DataReporta/Shopify)
Facebook is the behemoth of the group (holding the title down since 2009), with over a third of the population having an account. Classic video-sharing platform, YouTube, holds the second slot, sporting 2.52 billion users. WhatsApp (3rd) and WeChat (5th) are messaging platforms that while definitely social in nature, do not have a “feed” of content like the other platforms. And in fourth, is the pioneer photo-sharing app, Instagram, which has 1.4 billion users and counting.
However, just because these platforms have the most users doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the best for influencer marketing. Because the most often consumed content today is visual, and since relationship-building is key for microcelebrities (also known as influencers), some platforms lend themselves better to influencer marketing than others.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Most Effective For Influencer Marketing?
It’s no longer a secret how effective influencer marketing can be. Some studies have shown that influencer marketing can create 11x the ROI of banner ads, a testament to how relatable, relevant, well-crafted content is a consistent driver of sales.
However, the platform you choose to market on can be crucial to your campaign’s success, and is perhaps the second biggest question a marketing team should be asking themselves before working with an influencer (besides, obviously, who they’re going to work with).
According to LTK research, each social media platform offers unique value for brands. For example, you could make your choice depending on if you’re looking to target Gen Z based on where they spend time most, where they follow people most, or where they buy most.
Pictured: LTK 2022 Gen Z Study Results (Source: LTK)
Instagram, the platform thought by many to help cement influencers into the modern marketing era, comes out on top in terms of where creators are being most followed and purchases are most often being made. In fact, around 76.7% of marketers are expecting to use Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns in 2023, which is both an impressive statistic and a 4.1% increase over last year.
Popular platforms YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook also show up in the top 5 most effective platforms for influencer marketing. However, brands have also found success working with content creators on apps such as Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
Which Social Media Platforms Are The Most Used For Influencer Marketing?
Due to the previously mentioned effectiveness of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube, those are understandably the most-used platforms for influencer marketing by far.
In a 2021 Statista study, which analyzed over 1,800 influencer marketing campaigns, researchers found that Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing. A highly visual channel, Instagram lends itself well to content creation and relationship forming. In the study, 94% of campaigns utilized Instagram in their influencing efforts.
Facebook was the second most popular social media marketing platform in 2021, grabbing 43% of the campaign share. Third and fourth place went to TikTok and YouTube, respectively.
What Is The Average Influencer Engagement Rate In 2022?
One of the most popular ways to measure ROI is through measuring engagement rate.
Engagement rate is the measure of how many engagements, such as comments and likes, a post gets, divided by the number of followers that account has. The average engagement rate for influencers differs across platforms and by the reach of the influencer, and is affected by multiple factors.
Here is a breakdown of average influencer engagement rate in 2021 by platform:
Pictured: Influencer Post Engagement Rates, by Follower Size (Source: Upfluence/Influencer Hub)
As we’ve discussed before, smaller influencers such as micro influencers often have a higher engagement rate than other influencer groups. This is typically due to their low following and highly engaged audience.
What is a good engagement rate for micro influencers will differ across platforms, as the chart above shows. For instance, a 3% or above might be considered a good engagement rate for Instagram, while hitting 1% on YouTube would be a success, and on TikTok, you’d aim for closer to 15%.
There are many social media platforms for influencers to use to connect with brands, so keeping in mind how engagement rates differ by platform, as well as how content is consumed differently and by different people on each, will help you set solid expectations for how your influencer marketing campaign will perform across channels.
How Lionize Can Help With Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Learn more about how brands are increasing engagement and driving conversions with influencer marketing from the experts on the Lionize team. Book a Discovery Call today. We’d love to answer any questions you have.