How Bright is Social Media's Star?

Posted by admin at 4:08 PM on May 31, 2023


Social media has long been one of the leading uses of the internet, with recent research from GWI showing that social media use accounts for 38% of global time spent online. This increased from 35.5% in 2021; the average working age adult now spends over 2.5 hours every day on social media platforms. There may have been a shift in content from static images to short videos made popular by TikTok, and Twitter may have become less popular due to leadership issues and the impact on the usability of the site, but social media in general is still going strong.

This increase in the amount of time spent on social platforms may account for the slight decrease in engagement rates seen on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It is possible that scroll-fatigue, and the desire to see the next best thing (whether that's a video, image or engaging with a conversation) is affecting the amount of interaction people have with the content and people they are exposed to through social channels.

Facebook's engagement rate dropped 0.06% in 2021, while Twitter saw a smaller drop of 0.01%.Instagram saw an engagement drop of 0.75%, although posting rates on the platform actually increased, to 4.5 posts per week across all accounts. Both Facebook and Twitter saw post rates drop, with Twitter now getting just 3.9 posts per week across all accounts. This suggests that business and media accounts, which tend to be the heaviest posters, are engaging less with Twitter in terms of using the channel, and users are interacting a little less too. It is undeniable that the ethos of Twitter has changed in the last 18 months which could explain the shift in statistics.

The current engagement rates (across all industries) are 0.06% on Facebook, 0.47% on Instagram, 0.035% on Twitter, but a staggering 5.69% on TikTok. The best performing content types are still video, followed by images. We can see from the impressive engagement metrics on TikTok that the platform continues to ascend, and will perhaps become the go-to platform for a wider demographic in the future.

The issue of verified accounts on social media is worth investigating; we're all aware of the furore over Twitter Blue when paid verification became a thing, and it's still controversial. Many Twitter Blue accounts have been blocked by users in a backlash against paid verification, and those who have paid are unhappy that their engagement rates have stagnated, and not improved as promised. Meta Verified (for Facebook and Instagram) is rolling out at the moment, although unlike Twitter Blue, Meta Verified accounts must prove their identity with government issued ID so the system is less vulnerable to abuse. It remains to be seen whether Meta Verified receives the same backlash as Twitter Blue, but we think it is less likely.

Social media is still a bright star in the skyscape of digital marketing and isn't going to burn out anytime soon. What we can learn from these statistics, however, is that engagement is becoming more of a challenge as people spend more time looking for great content, jumping quickly from post to post in search of the next hit. This means brands have to make their messages and campaigns even more engaging to combat scrolling fatigue and encourage interaction.

Parua can help you craft, build and establish social media profiles and campaigns that bring genuine customer engagement. A solid social presence enables positive online reputation, strong sales figures and a healthy, future-proofed business.

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