Today’s top social media platforms are evolving at unprecedented speeds. Algorithm updates, new feature rollouts, and a flurry of new content trends all keep social media marketers on their toes. Managing successful campaigns and staying relevant on top platforms is a challenge for many brands and marketers.
Sprout Social covers industry data around key social media metrics in their 2023 Content Benchmarks Report. They also take a look at top challenges and trends in content popularity. Keep reading to learn more about the data and what it means for brands and influencers.
Who Conducted the Survey?
Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform designed for brands and businesses to monitor engagement rates, schedule and publish posts, analyze key data points, and uncover trends and insights. The company works with over 30,000 top organizations, including Shopify, Unicef, and Subaru. Sprout Social’s platform is available through one of their monthly subscription plans. They also offer a number of free resources, including case studies, online events and webinars, and a social media glossary.
Sprout Social was founded in 2010 by Justyn Howard, Aaron Rankin, Gil Lara, and Peter Soung. In 2019, the company went public. Today, over 1,000 employees work at Sprout Social and the company is currently headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The organization received recognition from Glassdoor as one of the top places to work in 2023.
The team at Sprout Social analyzed over than 523 million messages from 729,000 public
social profiles active between January 1st, 2022 and September 30th, 2022. The data includes posts from Facebook, Google My Business, Instagram, LinkedIn company pages, Pinterest, TripAdvisor, and Twitter. Measured engagement activities include actions that generate a published message, like commenting or retweeting. Likes and reactions were excluded, as they were considered non-publishing activities.
Sprout Social’s 2023 Content Benchmarks Report provides insights into the following:
- The challenges brands face when planning content
- Publishing and engagement benchmarks on social by industry
- Tips for adjusting your social media strategy to keep up with changes
Let’s dive into three significant takeaways and what they mean for influencer marketing.
Three Key Takeaways
1. Over half of marketers surveyed (53%) cited changing content formats as a challenge for planning and scheduling content. New platforms and algorithm changes were also at the top of the list of challenges.
2. The professional sports industry had the highest average number of posts per day (26) and also received the highest average inbound engagements on content per day (639). The health, wellness, and fitness industry had high engagement rates, despite a lower average number of posts per day. The consumer products industry experienced a similar pattern.
3. Short-form video continues to perform well on social media platforms. Two thirds of consumers (66%) find it engaging. Static images coming in at a close second (61%).
What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?
The first takeaway highlights the challenges faced by brands around planning and scheduling content. Changing formats, new platforms, and algorithm changes were the top three challenges on the list. Today’s social media environment is constantly shifting as new trends and technology arise, which makes pre-planning content stressful for marketing teams. Other challenges shown in the graph below include frustrations with scheduling tools, a lack of inspiration, too many cross-team approvals, and a lack of a scheduling tool altogether.
Because the world of social media is always evolving with no signs of slowing down, it’s important for brands and influencers to stay on top of trends to ensure campaigns are relevant. Although the challenges that come with social media platform changes and trends can feel exhausting at times, keeping up with them is necessary to run a successful brand or channel. Many of today’s brands hire dedicated social media managers to run their accounts. Influencers may consider leaning on freelancers from Upwork or Fiverr to offshore administrative tasks and free up more time for planning and strategy.
The second takeaway highlights some of the interesting trends within Sprout Social’s benchmark report. The professional sports industry had the most number of average posts per day as well as the highest average inbound engagements on content per day. Similar patterns can be seen in the media and entertainment and advertising and marketing industries.
However, it is worth noting that the health and wellness and consumer products industries had significantly lower posts per day, but decent average inbound engagement numbers. Leisure, sports, and recreation and travel and tourism have a similar pattern as well. In other words, influencers and brands in these industries may experience high engagement on a lower number of posts than other industries.
The third takeaway shows which types of in-feed social content consumers find the most engaging. Short form video is king, especially since the launch of TikTok and the Instagram Reels feature. That being said, a large number of consumers still prefer static images (61%). There is a significant drop off between static images and live video (a difference of 24%). The least engaging content types were long-form video, audio, and links to other content.
The short-form video trend continues to stay at the top of the list in terms of popular content formats. Influencers and brands should continue to leverage TikTok and Instagram Reels to stay relevant to their target audience. The good news is that people still enjoy consuming static images, so marketers who incorporate a mix of video and photo content should still see high levels of engagement.
In summary, Sprout Social’s 2023 Content Benchmarks Report offers key industry insights around current social media marketing challenges, the types of content consumers find the most engaging, and how different industries stack up with key social media metrics. Marketers should consider using the results of the report when crafting their social media strategies throughout the rest of 2023.
Link to the Report
The 2023 Content Benchmarks Report can be found on Sprout Social’s website, along with additional insights and research reports on the latest social media strategies, trends, and analytics.