Brands get more engagement on TikTok than on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, according to a new report from social media analytics firm Rival IQ.
The company published its seventh annual Social Media Industry Benchmark Report in February, which measures engagement on social networks in 14 different sectors, with 150 brands represented in each of them. They studied brands with at least 5,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, and between 25,000 and 1 million followers on Facebook. The content of the streams unfolds in itself as if it were a broker.
Rival IQ measured engagement per post in terms of likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares and reactions, then divided those totals by the number of followers to calculate rates.
TikTok’s average engagement in 2022 was the highest among the top platforms in the study, at 5.69%, at 0.06% for Facebook, 0.47% for Instagram and 0.035% for Twitter.
Blair Feehan, author of the report, says that with recent proposals in the tech industry to limit resources tied to social media marketing, brands need to focus on the platforms where they get the most bang for their buck. Now that’s the backyard, TikTok.
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“I’ll be curious to see what happens with TikTok next year, but I’m not surprised that it’s light years ahead of what the other three channels are doing,” Feehan told Business Insider.
Here are three other key points from the report on page 136;
The battle over Instagram is down, but Reels are a strong point
The average amount of competition on Instagram fell by 30% in 2022, the third consecutive year of decline according to a study by Rival IQ. But Feehan says Instagram’s short forms, known as Reels, have been a positive point, even though the study doesn’t include engagement data on Reels.
“All the brands behind Reels on Instagram,” the report says.
Business Insider reported in August that Reels photo albums out-formatted in every engagement metric except for comments, which led by a 2% margin, according to data from HypeAuditor.
“I think it’s very easy to show a big drop on Instagram, but there’s still a way to go before Facebook and Twitter,” says Feehan.
Feehan notes that since reels take more time to produce than static content posts, brands need to look at what their competitors are doing to decide how much effort to put into this type of content.
Universities and sports teams know how to reach Gen Z on social media
Higher education brands, such as universities or colleges, consistently rank high in terms of engagement each year in the Rival IQ study. The company also separately published a report dedicated to industry success in social media, highlighting centers such as the University of Iowa and Santa Clara.
Among student communities, alumni, parents, and others associated with universities and colleges, higher education is a sweet spot with a constant group of people who want to achieve what is happening on campus.
These schools also know how to use the youth around them to help with their social media presence.
“The best universities are switching phones to Generation Z or current students,” says Feehan. “They also get campus ambassadors or current students in front of the camera. And those are usually the panels that work best.”
Sports teams had the highest competition on Instagram and TikTok, as well as Twitter and Facebook. The genre is successful with short films and static content, such as live streaming stories.
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Brands post less on Twitter and Facebook
Brands’ post frequency on Twitter and Facebook decreased by approximately 20% between 2021 and 2022.
This is possible because brands are more focused on TikTok and Instagram videos, which can take longer to produce statically.
“Being competitive often takes a lot more work than sharing a link on Facebook or posting a photo on Twitter,” Feehan explains.
The recent turmoil on Elon Musk’s Twitter may also decline the role of bikes on that platform, according to a report.
Industries that posted more often on Twitter, such as sports teams and universities, reported higher rates of engagement on the platform. But the report also notes that the media industry, which has the most tweets but the least engagement on Twitter, shows that high post frequency does not always mean high engagement.