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[NEW STUDY] TikTok Tops Facebook & Instagram on Brand Engagement

Rival IQ has published its latest social media report that looks at the average performance brands are seeing across the main social media platforms. You can imagine the results have resulted in some relieved sighs across the land as social media managers realise they’re in the same position as everyone else – or a few quiet fist-pumps by those out-performing the average.

One clear social media engagement winner

Rival IQ looked at 150 companies with over 25,000 Facebook followers, 5,000 Twitter and Instagram followers. The companies came from 14 industries: alcohol, fashion, financial services, food & beverage, health & beauty, higher education, home decor, influencers, media, nonprofits, retail, sports teams, tech & software, and travel.

There were five million posts and nine billion likes, comments and favourites analysed across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. The broad results? There’s less organic engagement this year across the board and brands are posting less – 20% less on Facebook and Twitter. 

Engagement is up from holiday-related hashtags and Reels dominated Instagram engagement. However, TikTok is topping the charts with a median engagement rate of 5.69%.

Engagement and posts rates 

Facebook’s engagement rate per post is now 0.060% from a median of 5,04 posts per week, which means that less than 1% of people feel compelled to interact with brand posts. 

Instagram does better at 0.47% from 4.6 posts per week – although that is a decline from 0.67% last year and 0.98% in 2021. 

Twitter sits somewhere in the middle with 0.35% from 3.91 tweets per week, which is also down from last year’s numbers.

While TikTok, that engagement beast, dominates the charts with 5.69%, which means that you cannot ignore TikTok any longer.

It should be noted that brands are posting less to TikTok (under twice a week on average) than other platforms, but the results are still eye-popping.

What verticals/industries do best?

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that sports teams and influencers have the highest level of engagement on Facebook. Those industries sit at between 0.20 and 0.25% – while the rest barely creep up towards the 0.10% mark.

On Instagram, sports teams do well again (hovering at just above 1.3% engagement), but higher ed takes home the gong with 2.6% engagement. Once again, the other categories barely manage to shift the dial above 1.0% – even influencers!

Sports teams take home gold on Twitter, while higher ed is the second most engaged with sector. Alcohol brands and non-profits also do well.

And it’s higher ed that trumps the rest on TikTok with a staggering engagement rate of close to 18%! Sports teams languish down at 9% while influencers compete with health and beauty for the least engaged categories.

Strong Reels performance

Instagram Reels is continuing to drive strong levels of engagement and remains one of the most popular content types on Instagram – often competing with engagement powerhouse carousels for the position as top dog.

However, marketers do need to be slightly careful before going all in here. For example, financial service brands saw less engagement with videos and Reels than photos and carousels, but that was a bit of an outlier across all industries.

But better TikTok performance

Reels’ success isn’t as all-conquering as TikTok’s, however. The OG video format is topping the charts nearly across the board.

As mentioned, brands are posting to TikTok less than other sites but getting far more value for money. The media posted the most with 4.2 videos per week – alcohol the least with just one. All others were between 2.9 (health and beauty) and 1.1 (food and beverage).

The lower numbers perhaps represent the longer time it takes to create content for the platform.

Recommendations for 2023

Rival IQ recommends getting a foot in the door with TikTok any way you can – and the success of Reels shows that video is here to stay.

Rival IQ Blog

“Bust out that iPhone and start shooting. And don’t sleep on tried-and-true carousels if video feels too daunting.”

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