Insights into how 7,000+ real-world businesses utilize social media marketing services and how their efforts are paying off.


The numbers, oft-quoted, are still staggering … Twitter has 284 million monthly active users. Instagram has 300 million actives. (For comparison, the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia, has a population of merely 255 million.) Facebook, with 1.35 BILLION monthly active users. That means it’s just a hair smaller (population-wise) than China, which is currently the most populous country in the world (with about 1.37 billion people). What’s more, according to PewResearch, 74% of online adults (ages 18+) use social networks regularly. 23% are on Twitter. And a whopping 71% are on Facebook.


Takeaway #1 – Posting More More Engagement

Data shows no discernible correlation between the average number of posts companies publish per week and the average number of interactions (e.g., likes, retweets, etc.) each of those posts receives. There is no clear correlation between posts published per week and interactions per post.

Takeaway #2 – Size of Following is a Better Predictor of Engagement Than Post Frequency

If a business has a huge social following, they’ll naturally receive more likes, retweets, shares, etc. per post than a business with a tiny following. It’s a numbers game: a business with a huge following has more people it can potentially engage, so the odds of getting someone to engage are better. Of course, there’s a major flaw in the above assumption. Or perhaps more accurately, flaws – plural. For starters, there’s no guarantee your social followers will actually see the posts you publish. On Facebook, for example, your public posts don’t go out to all of your followers, just some of them.

Not all of your social followers are active. There are bots and scammers with fake profiles out there, following your business. Not to mention people who follow or connect with you and then stop using that particular social network, or who abandon an old username/profile for a new one. Those all inflate your follower count without adding any engagement value.

So, while we can argue that average social following is a better predictor of social engagement than post frequency, it’s still not a very good predictor. There are too many outliers.

Takeaway #3 – Social Engagement is driven by multiple factors: Find the Ideal Balance

There is no magic bullet. No secret weapon. It would be amazing if we could simply turn up the “social following” dial and watch social engagement increase as a direct result. But ultimately, the issue is more complex than that.

Your company could have a billion followers, but if you never post, you’ll never get any interactions per post. And then there’s post quality. Surely, a high-quality post (i.e., a post with relevant messaging, well-crafted copy, beautiful design, etc.) will drive more interactions on average than a low quality post.

The balance between following and posting frequency is the key. At the end of the day, different audiences respond in different ways. What works for one industry or company size might not work for another. I’ve tried to keep the takeaways in this section high-level enough to apply to all industries and company sizes.


Company Size-Specific Data

1-10 employees: Despite having the fewest number of employees, companies in the 1-10 employee

range have the second highest overall post per week average (10.86. They also have the highest image post per week average (7.5), and the second highest Facebook post per week average (3.21). However, companies in the 1-10 employee range tweet the least of all company sizes, averaging just 5.19 tweets per week.

11-50 employees: Companies in this group post the least frequently of all four company size groups, averaging 9.6 overall posts per week. They also have the lowest average Facebook posts per week (1.98), and the second lowest tweets per week (5.88) and image posts per week (5.52).

51-200 employees: The 51-200 company size group tracks very closely to the 11-50 group. The main differences: companies in the 51-200 group post a little bit more overall (9.91 vs. 9.6 average posts per week); they post a few more image posts (6.29 vs. 5.52 average image posts per week); they tweet a little bit more (5.97 vs. 5.88 average tweets per week); and they post to Facebook a bit more frequently (2.12 vs. 1.98 average Facebook posts per week).

201+ employees: The largest companies (201+ employees) lead the pack in all posting categories with the exception of image posts. (Interestingly, the 201+ group has the lowest average number of image posts per week with 4.78.) Even still, the 201+ group has a higher percentage of companies in the 10+ average post-per-week range (see x-axis) across all post categories (all posts: 22%, posts with images: 14%, tweets: 20%, and Facebook posts: 6%). The general takeaway here: big companies typically post the most.

Read more – misconceptions of social media promotion ideas.



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