At the beginning of the year, we took a brief look at the social media statistics and demographics for the UK in 2019.
As we pass the half-way mark of 2019, we’ve revisited the data and updated the information to reflect the changes over the last 6 months.
There are 3.499 billion active social media users globally (April 2019). This represents 45% of the total global population and shows a 6.1% increase since April 2018. Similar rate of growth is expected throughout the rest of 2019.
The UK now has 45 million social media users, equating to 67% of the population. Of these, 39 million are mobile social media users. The UK is very much a mobile-first nation. If you are not optimising your campaigns for mobile, then your content is probably not having the desired effect.
Amazingly, 96% of UK social media users visited a social network or messaging service in the past month. Of these 77% actively engaged or contributed to social media in this time.
The average UK based user now spends 1 hour 50 minutes every day scrolling through social media sites. This may not seem that much if you work in social media, but consider that this figure represents all age groups and locations.
Interestingly, only 13% of UK internet users use social media for work purposes. As more employee advocacy programmes launch we expect this figure will significantly increase. If not, then this could be a sign that employers are not engaging staff members to utilise social media and promote their brand…
Let’s now take a look at individual platforms and see what we can learn about UK usage.
Facebook remains the dominant social platform by membership in the UK. Despite numerous scandals in 2018 users and advertisers are still fully embracing the platform.
Examining the user base, it is easy to see why. Of all internet users in the UK, 78% of them use Facebook. More compelling is that a whopping 40 million people, or 71% of UK adults (+13 years old) can now be reached with adverts on Facebook.
According to Facebook Audience Insights, there are 35-40 million monthly active users. Of these, 52% identify as women and 48% men (based on users aged 18 and older).
There are now over 60 million active business Pages on Facebook globally. Many are turning to advertising to cut through the noise and reach desired audiences.
In the UK, the average engagement rate on a Facebook post is 3.82% which is a small increase (0.13%) on this time last year. The average engagement rate for a photo post is 5.48% and for a video post is higher at 6.96%.
The Digital 2019 report data supports theory that video is the most engaging type of content you can share on Facebook.
According to Facebook Audience Insights, the average UK user makes 6 comments, likes 11 posts, shares 1 post and clicks on 13 ads in a 30-day period.
YouTube is ranked as the UK’s second most popular social media channel with almost as many users as Facebook.
Flint reported that 37.1 million UK adults used YouTube in the last 12 months. A number which looks to be on the increase across 2019.
Globally, the average viewing session is now 40 minutes, up 50% from last year according to Omicore. Many brands are now using YouTube to host longer form content. Unlike other social networks, where users scroll passively through newsfeeds, Youtube users are intentionally searching on the platform for videos to watch.
In January 2019 there were an estimated 24 million Instagram users in the UK. According to Instagram 42% of the UK’s population can now be reached with advertising. The gender split is slightly skewed towards females (54% vs 46% males).
Instagram is Facebook’s success story with a huge amount of businesses flocking to the platform. According to Instagram, 80% of users follow a business or a brand so are looking for inspiration.
Engagement on LinkedIn is at record high levels, according to parent company Microsoft. More than 610 million professionals are now interacting on the platform and looking for new ideas and opportunities.
There are 27 million LinkedIn profiles in the UK, with 60% male and 40% female. According to Social Media Today, Microsoft claims there has been a 34% increase in login sessions amongst those members who are most likely to use the platform to regularly engage and share. They said:
“More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts: our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and reshares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY”
Revenue is also growing with 51% of UK adults (18+) now reachable by LinkedIn adverts.
According to Twitter, 13.6 million people in the UK can be reached by advertising which gives us a clue as to the size of the platform. This number represents 24% of the UK population, aged 13+.
The gender breakdown is shared as 60% male and 40% female – however many Twitter accounts are companies not individuals so would be classed as neutral.
Twitter has always been pretty cagey about its usage figures. They continue to remove hundreds of thousands of bots and fake accounts and this does affect their global statistics. This has also had an affect on advertising which has seen slow decline over the last 12 months.
TikTok is a short-form mobile video app which launched in China in 2016.
Earlier in the year, TikTok announced 500 million monthly active global users. This was somewhat overshadowed by the reported safety concerns.
Usage surged ahead of Snapchat and Twitter last year. The platform has already been adopted by thousands of British teenagers. After running it’s first major UK marketing campaign targeting Millenials over Christmas and New Year 2018, TikTok is set for big things in 2019.
If you’re not familiar with TikTok, take a look at this introductory video:
Still using Pinterest? Many are! The mood-boarding platform has 250 million monthly active global users. This is 50 million more than mid-2018. Pinterest is used by far more females than males (45% vs 27% according to Flint in 2018).
If your product or service is relevant then its still important to have well optimised pins on the platform – 86 percent of millennials say they use Pinterest to “plan life moments, big and small”.
One of the most valuable things about Pinterest is the long shelf life of Pins. The average pin is repinned 11 times. Eighty percent of all pins are repins and it takes a pin 3.5 months to get 50 percent of its engagement. That means a Pin can, on average, live for seven months (compared to Twitter’s seven minutes).
Due to “low usage” and it being somewhat of a security liability for Google, Google+ was shut down on 2nd April.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to remove the Google+ buttons from your homepage!
Well that’s it for now – but do keep checking back as we add to this article throughout the year.
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Alison Battisby is a digital marketing instructor and social media expert who has worked both agency-side and freelance in the social media industry since 2008. Alison has consulted a wide range of growing enterprises and big brands, and is a regular trainer for General Assembly and Enterprise Nation’s #SheMeansBusiness.