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  • Meerelle Cruz

Rival IQ Has Published its Latest Social Media Benchmarks Report

Rival IQ has released its latest social media benchmarking research, which examines the average brand engagement rates across each of the major social networks, broken down by vertical. Though the exact metrics are crucial, Rival IQ chose 150 companies at random from each category to analyze brand social media success from its database of over 200,000 brands.

According to Rival IQ:

“Companies selected had active presences on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as of January 2021, and had Facebook fan counts between 25,000 and 1,000,000 and minimum Instagram and Twitter followers of 5,000 as of the same date.”

To be clear, Rival IQ's engagement metrics are based on the total number of likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares, and reactions on both organic and boosted social media posts.

The entire number of interactions is then divided by the total number of followers. If you have three comments, five likes, and one share on a post, your engagement is nine times your follower count. Although it is not weighted for some criteria, it is a very suggestive measure (i.e. some would consider a comment to be of more engagement value than alike).

So, what are the trends that brands are observing, and how does your engagement rate compare?

First off, on Facebook - according to Rival IQ’s statistics, the average Facebook engagement rate across all verticals is a pitiful 0.064 percent. As a result, the average company does not even get 1% of its audience to respond to each post. This isn't reachable, so don't expect the same percentage of your target audience to see your material. However, these days, very few Facebook users feel forced to answer.

According to the same Rival IQ analysis, Facebook interaction was 0.09 percent in 2019 and 2020, before dropping to 0.08 percent last year. So far, brand engagement has been on the slide, and it has sunk even deeper in this report.

In terms of how frequently brands post to Facebook, the current average among the measured brands is 5.87 posts per week. However, as you can see, there are some significant differences.

And then there's Instagram, where average engagement has dropped even more, from 0.98 percent in 2021 to 0.67 percent according to this recent data. Which, as any Instagram marketer will tell you, comes as no surprise.

Part of the reason for this is increased competition: as more brands chase audience trends and try to get into each platform that is growing in popularity, the battle for attention grows, resulting in a drop in total average engagement. Brand engagement on Instagram was 1.22 percent in 2020, thus it's been nearly slashed in half in only two years.

How are you going to get around that? Posting video content and utilizing Instagram's latest new features appears to be the ideal strategy, as this appears to work with the types of content that Instagram wants to promote. So, if you have any good Reels ideas, now is the time to put them forth.

Brands are also posting to Instagram 4.55 times each week, according to Rival IQ statistics. It's important to note that these are feed posts, not Stories. Finally, Twitter engagement has decreased from 0.045 percent in 2020 to 0.037 percent now.

Given the faster-flowing tweet stream, Twitter engagement has never been very strong. As a result, while the current stats aren't as severe as those on Facebook and Instagram, marketers are seeing lower interaction per tweet overall.

That shows that Twitter's topics and audio Spaces haven't had much of an impact on companies, though it might also indicate that marketers haven't embraced these newer features. Again, it's difficult to establish clear conclusions based on aggregated data, but over the last year, Twitter users appeared to be less interested in what brands had to say.

Brands tweet about five times per week on average. Each platform still has potential, but the figures imply that most businesses aren't taking advantage of it yet.

The research emphasizes the always-changing social media landscape and the need to constantly refine your approaches in response to audience feedback. Newer tools should also be on your radar because they typically mirror usage patterns, and the more you can lean into them, the better.

The full research from Rival IQ also contains industry-specific trend information for each platform, which can help you plan. Or it could simply provide you with some additional statistics to refer to when trying to explain why your social media numbers have dropped recently.

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