Emplifi, the leading unified customer experience platform, recently released its Q4 2022 Social Media Benchmark report, providing in-depth data from thousands of global brands on user engagement, post reach, and customer care across Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter.
The analysis offers insights to help marketers reach the modern consumer, optimizing social media marketing and customer support strategies. It reveals social media trends; channel growth, engagement data; and customer response times across platforms worldwide.
According to Emplifi’s report, median engagement rates for brands increased over Q3 results on both Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram, Carousels were the top-performing post format with a median interaction rate of 30.45%, followed closely by Reels at 30.08%. Instagram videos and images ranked third and fourth respectively for median interactions on the platform.
On Facebook, live video posts saw the most engagement for almost all industry groups with a median interaction rate of 51.02% – the best performing live videos were posted by fashion retailer brands running live shopping segments in Asia.
It’s extremely helpful to know which post formats are generating the most engagement so that marketers can fully lean into the type of content that best resonates with their audience.
To give social media marketers a wide angle view of what’s working, we analyzed post-times so that brands can maximize their reach across platforms. Knowing when to post is a crucial component of a successful strategy and one of the largest hurdles social media managers face. Understanding your audience patterns and behaviors is key to making marketing budgets go further, increasing user engagement and building brand loyalty.Zarnaz Arlia, Emplifi CMO
Key findings from this quarter’s report include:
European TikTok users scroll much later than their US counterparts:
- US TikTok users are least active between midnight and 11:00 a.m. PST with activity spiking between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- In Europe, key TikTok follower activity occurs between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. CET, when 27% of users are online.
Twitter could be on the out for brands:
- During Q4 2022, the percentage of brands posting weekly on Twitter dipped between November 27 and December 11, with a temporary lift at the end of the year (most likely due to the holiday season).
- The number of brands posting weekly is once again on the rise but still approx. 10% lower than the consistent posting frequency seen prior to the platform’s leadership changes in late October.
2022 – the year CTR went down, and CPC went up:
- Most industries saw a decrease in CTR across social platforms over 2022 with the services, electronics, and banking sectors experiencing the biggest drops.
- Average monthly cost-per-click (CPC) rates across social platforms were up 19% in Q4 2022 vs Q3 2022, mirroring levels seen during the last quarter of 2021. Again, this is likely attributable to the year-end shopping season and competition for advertising space.
Best times to post on Facebook and TikTok
Emplifi looked into user behavior on Facebook and TikTok to identify when social media managers should be posting content for maximum reach. The data revealed that the most effective post times depend on audience demographics and the nature of the platform.
For example, TikTok requires sound, so content cannot be viewed easily while attending school or work. On the other hand, Facebook users, who are primarily in the 25-34 year-old age demographic, are more likely to browse the app while working.
Facebook and TikTok User Behavior Trends
- U.S. brand followers on TikTok are least active between midnight and 11:00 a.m. PST with activity spiking between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m PST.
- On Facebook, the majority of U.S. brand follower activity peaks at 8:00 a.m. PST and remains consistent throughout the day until 6:00 p.m PST.
- In Europe, brands see different trends when it comes to follower behavior with key follower activity on TikTok occurring between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. CET when 27% of users are online.
- Similar to the U.S., European Facebook users access the platform primarily at 8:00 a.m. CET, but stay active for longer and drop off at around 9:00 p.m.
Today’s modern consumers are showing up on social platforms with high expectations. They want to research and buy products on their preferred social apps and they expect their favorite brands to be right there with them.
These findings indicate that brands have a larger window to catch European audiences online compared to U.S. audiences.Zarnaz Arlia, Emplifi CMO
Twitter Brand Activity
Twitter experienced notable fluctuations in brand activity on the platform in Q4 2022.
- During the final quarter of 2022, the percentage of brands posting weekly on Twitter dipped between November 27 and December 11, with a temporary lift at the end of the year (most likely due to the holiday season).
- The number of brands posting weekly is once again on the rise but still approximately 10% lower than the consistent posting frequency seen prior to the executive leadership changes that took place in late October.
CTR and CPC Rates Across Social Platforms
- Most industries saw a decrease in click-through rates (CTR) across social platforms over the past year with the services, electronics, and banking sectors experiencing the biggest drops.
- Median monthly cost-per-click (CPC) rates across social platforms were up 19% over Q3 2022’s CPC numbers, mirroring levels seen during the last quarter of 2021. Again, this is likely attributable to the year-end shopping season and competition for advertising space.
Brands Shift Customer Care Strategies to Social Platforms
Emplifi analyzed the efficacy of social media customer care efforts by measuring how often brands respond to user questions (response rate) and the timeliness of their responses (response time).
- Brand response rates have improved throughout the year on Instagram and Facebook, with the finance sector being the most responsive on both platforms. This is likely due to consumer concerns around the heightened cost of living and economic uncertainty.
- Brands take 5.4 hours to respond on Instagram and significantly less time to respond on Facebook (under an hour).
- On Twitter, brand response rates have gradually decreased since Q4 2021 – the retail and e-commerce sectors are the most responsive.
- On average, the time it takes for brands to respond to queries on Twitter has held steady at 5 to 6 hours.
Shoppers are using their social networks to find customer reviews, product ratings, and to resolve customer support issues – asking brands pertinent questions and wanting a rapid response.
The findings from our Q4 Social Trends Benchmark report reinforce just how crucial a brand’s social strategy is to the business’ overall success, from post-format choices and post-times to a brand’s customer care efforts.
The data makes clear that to thrive in the current economic climate, brands not only must meet their audience wherever they are online but find them at just the right time with just the right content.Zarnaz Arlia, Emplifi CMO