These days, it feels like everyone is on social media. But make no mistake, not everyone is on every channel.

As marketers, it’s important to know your audience’s favorite social channels. For instance, if you’re selling retirement homes, it’s safe to forgo Snapchat, where only 3.7% of users are over 50.

Download Now: The 2024 State of Social Media Trends [Free Report]

HubSpot surveyed over 1,400 marketers around the world find out which social media channels are gaining steam — and which are falling behind. Read on to discover which platforms are most popular with marketers and consumers in 2024.

Social Media Channels Gaining Steam in 2023

Instagram

According to SimilarWeb, the Instagram app has over 1.64 billion users, making it one of the most popular apps today.

And Instagram is expected to see more growth, and our survey results show that it’s tied for first place for the highest potential growth in 2024 and 52% plan to increase their investment in the platform. 24% of social media marketers also plan to invest the most in Instagram over any other platform.

Marketers’ affinity for Instagram makes sense, considering marketers in our survey said the app yields the highest engagement and the third-highest ROI of all social media platforms.

graph displaying the roi of the most popular social media platformsAnother reason for Instagram’s popularity among marketers is that the platform is leading the charge in leveraging the social selling trend. Instagram has the most developed in-app selling tools of any platform. Our survey shows that, in 2024, 84% of marketers believe consumers will buy products via social media apps more than from a brand’s website.

Marketers aren’t the only ones using the platform.

Although Gen Z visits TikTok the most, they rank Instagram among their favorite social media apps — as do Millennials.consumers favorite social channels

Instagram is also holding steady with older audiences. In the last few months, 47% of Gen X-ers have visited Instagram, followed by nearly a quarter of Baby Boomers. However, if you’re targeting these audiences specifically, Facebook or YouTube could be a better option.

On the marketing side, more than half of video marketers rank Instagram as the best platform for ROI, engagement, and lead generation. If you’re looking to dive more into video marketing, Instagram is an attractive option.

Facebook

Facebook is also tied with Instagram for platforms expected to see the most growth in 2024. According to our survey, 21% of social media marketers plan to invest more in Facebook than any other platform, and 53% plan to increase their investment, which is an almost 24% change from just 2023.

Furthermore, 40% of social media marketers plan to use Facebook for the first time in 2024.

Facebook currently attracts 3 billion monthly users, more than any of its competitors. A high concentration of its audience belongs to Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers.

In the last three months, 81% of Gen X-ers and 70% of Boomers have visited Facebook. On top of that, Gen X and Baby Boomers rank Facebook as their favorite social media app and most visited app. If your target audience is made up of either of those generations, Facebook is your best bet for social media marketing campaigns that reach them.

consumers favorite social channels: facebook

Now to the next-youngest generation — do millennials use Facebook? Yes. While it’s not their most visited app, it is their favorite app.

That being said, engagement drops significantly for Gen Z audiences. Just 53% have visited Facebook in the past three months, and just 13% say it’s their favorite platform.

TikTok

TikTok is known as the platform for Gen Z — and the data confirms it. In fact, in the U.S. alone, more than half of Gen Z consumers are on TikTok. Plus, Gen Z-ers say TikTok is their favorite platform, pulling ahead of YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

It doesn’t stop there: TikTok is also picking up steam with other demographics. 30% of TikTok users in 2024 are between 35 and 54 years old, a 7% increase from last year. Usage amongst Baby Boomers is still low, with 16% visiting the app in the last three months, but that said, their usage is steadily increasing, with a 60% change in usage since just last year (10% to 16%).

While only 34% of social media marketers use the platform, those using TikTok are strengthening their investment in 2024 – more than marketers on any other platform. In fact, 60% of them will increase their investment in marketing on TikTok in 2024, and another 34% will keep investing the same amount.

It’s also worth mentioning that TikTok has the highest engagement rate out of any other social platform, averaging 55.8 minutes per day per session. In short, TikTok’s snackable content is addictive for a variety of age groups.

YouTube

YouTube has a user base of 2.4 billion+ people and receives over 34 billion monthly visits, according to data we pulled from SimilarWeb.

consumers favorite social channels: YouTubeYouTube is popular with Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X audiences in similar measures. In the last three months, 68% of Millennials have visited YouTube, followed by 69% of Gen Z, and 65% of Gen X. For Baby Boomers, YouTube is their second favorite social media app, just behind Facebook.

YouTube was also a top favorite amongst video marketers, and more than a quarter of video marketers planned to invest in YouTube than any other platform, according to HubSpot’s Video Marketing Report. In addition, marketers said YouTube offered the highest ROI in 2023.

Social Media Channels Losing Steam in 2023

Tumblr

After numerous acquisitions and near-revivals, Tumblr has yet to recreate its early- to mid-2000s popularity. According to our report, Tumblr is most popular with Millennials, but only 13% have visited the platform in the past three months.

tumblr usage among millennialsSurprisingly, Gen Z has visited Tumblr at nearly the same rate (10%). In fact, a report by Quartz found that 61% of new Tumblr users in 2022 were under the age of 24. This begs an important question: is another revival around the corner?

While it’s still too early to call, I recommend focusing on platforms that pull stronger numbers for the audience you want to target and remaining experimental with those that don’t.

Twitch

Although Twitch is top dog in the live-streaming space, all major streaming platforms — including Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Live — have seen a drop in total hours watched in the past few years. For example, Facebook Gaming alone saw a -59% YoY change in hours watched.

streaming services views

Image Source

23% of Millennials, followed by only 12% of Gen Z, and 9% of Gen X have visited Twitch in the past three months.

When is the best time to post on social media?

While social media platforms will continue to fall in and out of favor with consumers and marketers, one thing remains constant — timing is everything. No matter which platform you choose to invest in, it’s critical to know the best time to post to boost your brand’s visibility.

To stay on top of a posting schedule, social media marketers told us that they use a social media schedule or calendar when they post content (72%). Tools like HubSpot’s Social Media Management Software can effectively help you craft and execute the right social media scheduling strategy; however, knowing when to post will help you boost engagement.

For example, social media marketers working in Eastern Standard Time reported 6-9 p.m. as the best time to post.

On the other hand, marketers in Pacific Standard Time said 3-6 p.m. yielded the best results.

However, the most important advice I can give on the best time to post is that it depends on your audience and when they’re the most active on social media. For example, if your audience is the most online after work hours, you’re posting for no one if you share most of your content in the early morning.

  • Facebook: 12-3 p.m., 6-9 p.m., and 9am-12 p.m.
  • YouTube: 6-9 p.m., 12-3 p.m., and 3-6 pm.
  • X (formerly Twitter): 12-3 p.m., 6-9 p.m., and 3-6 p.m.
  • Instagram: 12-3 p.m., 6-9 p.m., and 3-6 p.m.
  • LinkedIn: 3-6 p.m., 9 am-12 p.m., and 12-3 p.m.
  • TikTok: 6-9 p.m., 3-6 p.m., and 12-3 p.m.

Additionally, marketers say Saturday and Friday (respectively) are the best days to post across social media platforms.

Back to You

One question remains: what channels are best for your social media marketing? Should you stick to mature platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, or test the waters with new platforms, like TikTok?

Ultimately, your decision should hinge on one crucial factor: your target audience. Putting your audience at the center of your social media strategy means prioritizing the platforms that will reach them most effectively.

And remember, social media marketing is all about experimenting. There’s no need to commit to one platform for the rest of time — in fact, it may be useful to run side experiments on different platforms to see what results you get.

New call-to-action