social media

Hitting the Mark: Social Media Benchmark Report from Rival IQ

You’ve created your client’s social media plan, establishing the critical metrics for each campaign. What if you could have insight into the social media performance of others within your client’s industry? That is what you’ll find in the 2018 Social Media Benchmark Report from Rival IQ, a Social Insights API that recently entered into a partnership with Hubspot.

This 86-page report focuses on the use of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, looking at the posts per day and week, engagement rates, and top hashtags by engagement rate for these ten industries:

  • Fashion
  • Food & Beverages
  • Health & Beauty
  • Higher Education
  • Home Décor
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Influencers
  • Media
  • Nonprofits
  • Sports Teams

Before we dig in, let’s note Rival IQ’s methodology for these findings:

Engagement is defined as “measurable interaction on social media posts, including likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares, and reactions.” Rival IQ divided all of these interactions by follower count to get the engagement rate. From within their database of 150,000 they randomly selected 150 companies from each industry. All companies had active social media presences as of January 2017, and had Facebook fan counts between 25,000 and 1 million as of the same date. You can review the full methodology here.

Posting Frequency & Engagement: Facebook

Nearly all industries average at least one post per day. Media averages 10.4 posts per day. Not nearly as frequent was Sports Teams, coming in at 3.5 posts per day. The industries experiencing the highest engagement included Food & Beverages and Influencers. So, while we might say we don’t want to see another post of your lunch, apparently, secretly we do.

Posting Frequency & Engagement: Instagram

Posting frequency on Instagram averages .69 per day, with Sports Teams, Fashion, and Health and Beauty at the higher end of the scale. Interesting to note that posts from Higher Education – whose median posting frequency is .69 per day – outperforms Fashion and Health and Beauty in engagement by over 2%. What does this mean? As Rival IQ notes, “Engagement doesn’t correlate with posting more. Higher Ed’s higher engagement rate may reflect a hyper-targeted and engaged audience.”

Posting Frequency & Engagement: Twitter

Media (11.1 posts per day) and Sports Teams (10.5 posts per day) lead the way in posting frequency on Twitter. This makes sense, with each industry responsible for sharing news, whether current events or scores from the game. The engagement rate for Twitter posts is not impressive, coming in at a median .046%. This number could speak to the nature of Twitter, with many users scrolling and reading instead of replying or retweeting.

Takeaways for Each Industry

Fashion: Instagram is the place to be for the Fashion industry, with the most success taking place with carousel photo placements. Care must be taken, however, to create compelling content as overall Instagram engagement in this industry dropped by 25% from the previous year.

Food and Beverages: Stick around after you buy that new pair of shoes you saw on Instagram because this report indicates the next post you see could influence what you’ll have for dinner. Yes, photos of mouthwatering food and beverage offerings perform consistently well, despite the average daily posting rate of 0.4.

Health and Beauty: You might presume that posts from the health & beauty industry would be generating high engagement, but that is not the case despite the focus on posting on Instagram. The report advises that the industry should increase posting of photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and to focus on video for Facebook and Instagram.

Higher Education: This is yet another industry where Instagram comes in on top. Higher Ed’s Facebook engagement declined by half within the past year, which could speak to the trend toward younger people favoring Instagram and other social media channels over Facebook. Photos showing what to expect from campus life will continue to serve this industry well.

Home Decor: This industry performs well on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and the like creating an audience eager to see their dream home concepts unfold before their eyes, video is the common denominator of success.

Hotels and Resorts: Twitter provides this industry with the highest engagement, which also performs well on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is the ideal channel for customer service engagement, while Instagram and Facebook are the places to post videos to entice travelers to finalize their bookings.

Influencers: Think Influencers own Instagram? Think again. It turns out their best channel is Facebook, where their average activity is posting three videos each week. Influencers who want to increase their Instagram engagement should make good use of hashtags.

Media: This industry has the highest posting activity but the lowest engagement. There is hope, in the form of video. It sounds obvious, but that is where this industry saw the potential for increasing engagement, which shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.

Nonprofits: Once again, Instagram is the channel providing the best engagement for this industry, even though most of the nonprofits included in this study spent more time posting on Facebook and Twitter. In the coming year, it’s suggested to devote more time to Instagram to make the most of that high engagement.

Sports Teams: This industry is succeeding at connecting with each team’s respective fan base, and the engagement across the board shows that the fans are eager to strengthen the relationship. Recommendations for the coming year include making better use of hashtags on Instagram to widen their reach and use Twitter for creating more conversation.

What are your thoughts? Do these findings ring true in your experience? We’d love to hear your feedback.  Share in the comments below or on social media using #solopr.

This post was written by Michelle Kane, Solo PR Pro Premium Member and Head Honcho of Voice Matters, LLC . Michelle has over 20 years' experience in communications management, writing, public relations, administration and broadcasting. 

Photo by Daniele Riggi on Unsplash