Analysis of Social Media Engagement of 14 Different Industries Across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Reveals Some Fascinating Stats

Analysts at the RivalIQ recently published a collection of metrics and charts, highlighting benchmarks for 14 different industries across social media in 2021. Buckle up folks, this is going to be a deep dive.

The methodology for this particular analytical article is simple to explain, while almost painstakingly arduous in practice. Researchers dissected 2 million separate posts and 3 billion different likes, comments, and favorites across 3 social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). If simply reading the staggering numbers hasn't given you a mild concussion, I both congratulate your firm mind and urge you to stay away from social media research. With the opening flourishes put aside, let's get to work.

A couple of major highlights start us off. Brand engagement itself saw no major uplifting, coming across with no growth on Twitter and Facebook, and disappointingly falling slightly short on Instagram. This fact, taken in conjunction with the news that brands are overall posting less on social media nowadays, could simply mean that a sort of collective weariness is overtaking people online. Especially with the general mistrust evoked from articles citing phishing attacks, companies stealing personal information and the like, users may just be looking for a break.

Instagram carousels are seeing the highest amount of user engagement, so brands moving forward might want to invest in the art of combining photos for public use. The report also suggests that diversification between different brand channels with the use of hashtags seems to be a winning strategy with the Instagram community. Finally, it seems that industries might finally be walking out of the shadows a certain 2020 pandemic wreaked upon the world.

Let's move on from general insight, and hone in on specifics across our 3 social media outlets. Starting off with Facebook, which seems to be actively drawing all the wrong sorts of attention (coming to blows with both the US Congress and the Australian government has to be a first). While featuring a rather flat 0.08% engagement rate in early 2021, there are still some things to talk about. Industries such as alcohol, hotels & resorts, nonprofits, and influencers all managed to build up minuscule amounts of momentum and keep their growth active.

Posting across Facebook fell by a solid 6%, with Media being the only venture aggressively contributing to the median 5.5 posts per week. Finally, pitting posts per week and engagement rates against each other reveals that both influencers and sports are doing rather well in both avenues, having balanced out healthy user interaction while not sacrificing on daily posts.

Let's move on to Twitter next. With a median engagement rate of 0.045%, even less than Facebook, there's work to be done here. The industries contributing to this number primarily make up Hotels & Resorts, Media, Retail, and Tech. Truly, Twitter is the host to a literal IT Crowd. Brand outlets seem even less keen on posting here as opposed to Facebook, with the average tweets per week falling by a hope-dashing 20% to 4.4. As with Facebook, Media seems to largely contribute to the 20%, with Sports also doing rather well in this category.

As far as overall posts vs. engagement is concerned, Sports takes the cake again, sharing it with Higher Education. Media on the other hand, featuring heavily in posting across both Facebook and Twitter, absolutely loses any hopes of a lead and falls behind to last place in terms of the engagement received for the absurd amount of tweets published. Perhaps even an IT crowd needs engaging content to, well, engage with.

Instagram's engagement suffered the most out of our Big Three, falling by 25%, yet still landing on a comfortable 0.98% rate, far outclassing Facebook and Twitter. Higher education is the real star here, contributing a leading 3.19% to the lot, with Sports lagging behind but still doing well for itself. Posting frequency across Insta channels fell by 8%, placing it somewhere between Twitter and Facebook in terms of decline rate, yet still doing well with a decent, whole 4 posts per week. However, metrics for this may also come off as skewed, considering posting features such as Stories, which make up a decent amount of activity on the platform, aren't part of the analytical metrics.

Finally, posts vs. engagement clearly outline Higher Education as an all-out winner, balancing both a low amount of posting with high engagement. Sports, while enjoying almost half the engagement and posting much more frequently, still enjoys a comfortable niche above all other industries on the platform.

In summation, as industries like Media have observed, more posting clearly don't dictate engagement. In fact, user interaction might have more to do with establishing communities, the likes of which are etched into the makeup of sports. Sports in general, it seems, is our overall winner, easily balancing both frequent posting and higher engagement. Also, with the amount of engagement tech outlets and hotels are enjoying, it seems like users are going out on a post-pandemic indulgent binges, which industries can easily ride to success with upping posts across these platforms.

Read next: Consumers have shifted from big-screens to mobile, the time spent on video streaming apps hit 935 billion hours in the year 2020
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