2012 was exciting year for us, here at Socialbakers, as we conducted several studies that revealed interesting social media trends. In order to track the development social marketing has undergone in the past year, we’ve brought you a recap of our results.
1. Brands Usually Post Photos on Facebook
Since we monitor over a million social media profiles, we’re able track how brands and users communicate and interact on Facebook. This includes the content Facebook pages share with their audience and how the audience engages with different post types. In August 2012, we found out that 70% of the posts shared by businesses were photos, followed by links (14%), status updates (10%) and videos (6%). A few months later, in December, photos became even more dominant with a 77% share, followed by a drop in links and status updates.
2. Photos are the Most Viral Post Type on Facebook
How well do Facebook users engage with visual content? Page Admins are more apt to create image posts, since photos are the most likely to go viral. August last year, 93% of the most shared brand posts across the social network were photos.
3. Facebook Users Like on Average 36.7 Pages
The average number of Pages that a user “Likes” has increased over the past 3 years. According to data from October 2009, users became fans of about 4.5 Facebook Pages. This volume increased to around 30 Pages in the following year, and rose to 36.7 average “Likes” by October 2012.
4. Page Admins Post 36.2 Posts a Month
In 2012, Page admins posted 5× more posts than the previous year (36.2 posts in September 2012, compared to 6.5 posts in September 2011). This increase probably encouraged Facebook to introduce Promoted Posts. This feature, with a range of pricing, makes posts appear more frequently in News Feeds. This means that your audience will notice and engage with the post via Likes, Shares, and Comments. Many brands have taken advantage of this feature last year, as 32% of Facebook post reach was paid for.
- Never publish content on Facebook closer than 2 hours from each other
- The ideal post frequency changes all the time. Check the graph below for the most effective times:
5. Engagement Correlates with Reach
Return on Engagement (ROE) is the new Return on Investment (ROI). Since engagement correlates with reach, it can ultimately translate into higher click through rates, conversion rates, and more paying customers. While you can reach only 10% of Facebook users with a lower Engagement Rate than 0.01%, you can reach more than 30% by obtaining an Engagement Rate higher than 0.1%. You can increase Engagement Rates by creating content that will drive fans to interact with your posts.
The Bigger You Are, The Harder It is to Reach All Your Fans
Gaining more Facebook fans naturally means that your content will reach more people. However, the bigger you grow, the harder it is to reach and engage a larger fraction of your fan base. While a smaller page, with less than one thousand Likes, reaches on average 33.2% of its fan base with a single post, a bigger page with between 100 and 999 thousand fans reaches “only” 8.2% of them. Though, the true number of fans reached for the latter is larger.
6. Asia and Brazil – the Fastest Growing Regions on Facebook
Asia claimed its position as the continent with the most Facebook users (monthly active users), surpassing North America in May and taking over Europe in August 2012. Countries, like India, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, and Thailand played a vital role in bringing Asia to the top.
It was also a game-changing year for Brazil, as it became the second biggest Facebook country. Brazil gained the most new monthly active users, almost 30 million, from January 1st to December 31st, 2012. To find out more about Facebook´s development over the past year, click here.
7. Facebook Trend – 60.4% Mobile Penetration
About 488 million users logged into a Facebook Mobile application in May. By the end of June, this number rose to 543 million monthly active users. By the end of September 2012, this volume increased to 604 million. That represents a 60.4% mobile penetration when considering the billion monthly active users figure from October.
8. FMCG – The Fastest Growing Industry on Facebook
We focused on the development of 14 different industries on Facebook to see which ones have grown the most in Page and fan volume size from July – September 2012. According to the results, most of the newly added Facebook pages belonged to the health industry (54 new Pages). Although the health industry was fastest growing, it still remains the smallest of all Facebook industries with an average page size of 87 thousand fans. In comparison, the Fashion industry had the biggest average page size – almost half a million of fans!
By far, the FMCG industry dominates Facebook with an average fan count of 300 thousand per Page. Towards the end of September, this industry increased its size by adding 1 345 new Pages for a total of 5 107 FMCG Pages on Facebook. However, the industry wasn’t successful in growing large communities.
9. Brands are Becoming More Socially Devoted on Facebook
During the second quarter of 2012, up to 70% of questions posted on Facebook Page walls didn’t get answered. In fact, 25% of Pages closed their walls, preventing engagement completely. That’s why we launched Socially Devoted and challenged brands worldwide to focus more on social media customer care. A few months later, we found that there was a shift towards better fan – brand relationships. We found that 48.1% of customer queries were addressed by the companies that were surveyed, as opposed to 30% last June.
Tip: Next week, we will release results for Q4 (October – December) and reveal whether brands have further improved in responding to their fans on Facebook. Stay tuned!
10. Social is not about 1 metric, it’s about all of them
We often promote Engagement Rate as the most important metric, which not only expresses the amount of interactions your posts generate, but also that it can be applied to any social network, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+! Because social media involves human interaction, aggregating results to just one metric would be inaccurate and frankly, impossible. That´s why we want to remind you that Fan Growth, Response Rate, and Response Time are also metrics you should monitor in order to gain control over your social media performance. Find out more here!
This is how we calculate Engagement Rate across social platforms: