The State of Social Media in 2020: A Sprout Social Index Recap

The State of Social Media in 2020: A Sprout Social Index Recap

What is the state of social media in 2020? Activity has definitely picked up over the first 6 months of the year, and looks to increase as the year progresses.


Sprout Social recently released its annual Sprout Social Index, taking a deep dive into what marketers and consumers are looking for on social, and how they are using it. This data backs up why businesses need to be on social media – and be active.


Below, I take a look at the stats that stood out – and ones you should bookmark.


What do you look for when using social media?


When using social media for your business, you have to have a goal. You have to answer why you are using social media in the first place.


What are your metrics to look at? 69% of social marketers say increasing brand awareness is their number one goal for social media. 52% say increasing web traffic is their top priority, while 46% say growing their audience is their #1 goal.

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23% of social marketers use social data to measure ROI and 16% use social data for competitive insights. To measure their performance, 48% of all social marketers prioritize engagement metrics such as likes, shares and comments, while 26% use amplification and brand awareness metrics like reach, impressions and share of voice.

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In addition to goals and metrics, what other factors shape marketers’ approach to social strategy? 59% of marketers look at their performance to date to determine if they need to adjust their plans for social. 52% of social marketers will shape their approach to social based on customer feedback.

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Any changes to what you’re using?


The majority of both social marketers (74%) and consumers (68%) said they planned to use Facebook more in the coming year; additionally, 53% of social marketers and 34% of consumers plan on using Twitter more. As social marketers target younger audiences, they need to keep an eye on the change in platform usage. Facebook reigns supreme with Millennials and older, but members of Generation Z prefer YouTube (87%) and Instagram (85%).


When asked which platforms they plan to use more of, 73% of members of Generation Z said Instagram while 65% said they plan to spend more time on YouTube.

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What are you doing on social media and When do you use it?


“Think, speak, and act like your customers.” That was the phrase in big letters in the Sprout Index. This is a policy we’ve always adopted at ME Marketing Services. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – what do they want to see from your company?


45% of consumers rely on suggestions in their feed and/or use discovery tools to find new accounts. But for members of Generation Z, half will find new accounts by looking to the influencers they already like and follow, and for Generation X, the number one way they discover new accounts to follow comes from recommendations from family and friends.

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57% of consumers will follow a brand on social media to learn about new products and services. 47% follow brands to stay up to date on company news, while 40% want to learn about promotions and discounts.

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Half of consumers say they’re most likely to use social media during a major personal milestone and 45% say they’re on social media during a sporting event.


When asked when they are most interested in seeing brand content in their feeds, 54% of consumers welcome brand posts during sporting events. They are very uninterested in seeing brand posts during a natural disaster (14%).


Are you likely to purchase from a brand you follow on social media?


89% of consumers stated they will buy from a brand/company they follow on social media. 84% will choose that brand over a competitor. 75% of consumers say they’ll increase their spending with brands they follow on social – a number that has increased 12% year over year.


When people follow a brand on social, 91% will go on to visit that brand’s website or app. 89% will buy from that brand. 85% will recommend that brand to a family or friend. 84% will visit that brand’s physical location.


What do you want to see from brands on social media?


68% say they prefer to interact with images while 50% like to engage with video content.


When asked what differentiates stand-out brands from their peers on social media…

  • 61% of consumers believe brands that engage with their audience are best in class.
  • Consumers are focused on transparency (45%) and strong customer service (44%).


Additionally, both social marketers and consumers agree a brand’s social media presence stands out from the competition when it is creative, memorable and impactful.

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When asked what trends they want to see brands use more of, 43% of consumers want to see more Stories while 40% want more live video.


40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours.


Are these new findings with the state of social media right now in line with what you are seeing in your own social media marketing efforts? If you aren’t and would like help, please contact us to find out how we can help you get the results you want!


Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 18+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

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