[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


[NEW REPORT] Instagram Engagement Down 50% From 2020

We recently found out that most social media engagement these days doesn’t correlate to the number of clicks a post will receive, which may have led to some marketers re-thinking their social media strategy and aims.

But what if declining referral traffic is part of a broader engagement trend across a variety of platforms and industries? It would be useful to know if results are now the new normal, or if something has to change regarding your overall strategy.

Thankfully, Rival IQ has looked at more than five million posts and 10 billion engagement signals across X, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook in 14 industries (Alcohol, Fashion, Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Health & Beauty, Higher Education, Home Decor, Influencers, Media, Nonprofits, Retail, Sports Teams, Tech & Software, and Travel) to help marketers answer an age-old question: “How am I really doing?”

It should be noted that for brevity, this article will only include all industry benchmarks. To do in-depth, the report can be accessed here.

The main takeaways

The main takeaways from the report include TikTok engagement dropping by a massive 50%, which is slightly offset by small gains in Facebook engagement, the importance of hashtags (top engagement comes from holiday-hashtagged posts), the takeover of Reels on Instagram, TikTok’s chart topping engagement rate of 2.63% (despite a decline) and Higher Education and Sports Teams dominating the field thanks to a high rate of posting and quality content.

It should be noted that each business is different, and each audience is different, so these results may not perfectly mirror yours. Still, they do make for interesting reading.

Facebook engagement increased, Instagram decreased

In 2024, the all-industry median engagement on Facebook rose to 0.063% – an increase on last year’s 0.060%. Brands are also posting 4.69 times per week. That figure shows that most people don’t engage with posts, and prefer to use Facebook as a way to consume content (probably videos). However, this platform could still have a place to play with brand awareness.

Instagram continued its downward trend with an engagement rate of 0.43%, a reduction from 2021 of 0.98% – which shows how changing user habits in the app and increased competition from other platforms. The median posting frequency is now 4.7 posts per week.

Of course, the data will vary depending on the industry you are in. For example, Tech & Software companies had an engagement rate of 0.032% on Facebook, a drop compared to the all-industry median, but had slightly better engagement on Insta (0.437%). Reels (0.480%) earned above-average engagement with 0.480%, with Carousels and Videos doing slightly worse.

Again, reduced engagement could be put down to Meta’s content recommendation policy. It seems like every third post on a feed is by a recommended account, which means there’s less real estate for other content to shine and earn engagement!

Nothing new happening on X (Twitter)

For a platform which seems to spring up surprises regularly, there’s nothing surprising to report about its engagement rates of 0.029% across all industries. X, too, has kept up with the crowd by posting an engagement drop from 2023’s 0.035%.

It’s interesting to note that Food & Beverage brands gain above-average engagement for almost all of their posts to X, which photos leading the way (above 0.053%).

The amount people post to the app has also gone down by around 15% as brands stop using X as much as they once did due to various concerns about the channel.

TikTok is the big engagement winner

Despite a huge drop in engagement, everyone’s favourite short-form video app remains the king of engagement with 2.63% across all industries with 1.92 videos posted per week, on average. Brands are posting more than they did in 2023, which could be an indication of increased investment in this format.

Even for industries like Financial Services, which people may consider to be a little drier, TikTok is an engagement winner. Hashtags such as #moneytips earn engagement of 5.83% – even if overall engagement rates are a little below average with 2.43%.

Despite the drop, these findings show that there’s still potential for marketers to invest in TikTok – and if reach and engagement is the goal – it’s a platform that can’t be ignored.

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