Most Posts Produce No Engagement

The vast majority of posts on social media sites produce no engagement, according to a study by SocialFlow, which analyzed 1.6 million organic posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by ordinary users, media companies, publishers, and marketers. On the positive side, however, SocialFlow also found that organic (as opposed to paid) posts still generate substantial reach.

Among the 1.6 million posts analyzed by SocialFlow, 99% produced little or no engagement, and 95% produced no engagement at all. The posts that produced high engagement — meaning more than roughly 20,000 interactions per post — tended to come from big entertainment or media companies, SocialFlow noted. Meanwhile marketers in other industry verticals “tend to have content that falls somewhere on the long tail,” the report went on.

Turning to specific posting strategies, SocialFlow found higher engagement rates for “data-driven” posts, referring to posts targeted to certain audience segments based on predictive algorithms taking into account their behaviors, when they are active, and trending topics, outperform ordinary posts by a large margin. 

The study also found that “real-time” posts — for example about breaking news, celebrity gossip, and the like — can benefit media and entertainment companies, but have little benefit for marketers in categories like technology, retail, fashion, healthcare, and non-profits. 

Finally, SocialFlow also had good news in terms of reach: even though the engagement level for most posts was low, the posts analyzed still reached a total 361 million people and produced 1.5 billion social interactions (presumably thanks to the small number of high-engagement posts).

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2 comments about "Most Posts Produce No Engagement".
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  1. Jim Anderson from SocialFlow, August 21, 2014 at 9:10 a.m.

    Thanks, Erik. Of course what everyone most wants (SocialFlow included) is to understand the business benefits beyond reach and engagement. An important takeaway from this study is that (a) people are using social to drive real business benefit; and (b) not every post has to be a "home run" in order do do that. For most marketers a consistent, thoughtful, data-driven approach yields much better results than trying to "swing for the fences" for a Oreo Dunk-in-the-Dark moment.

  2. Patrick Giblin from 451 Degrees Inc, May 17, 2015 at 6:38 p.m.

    Jim and Erik Comments and Social Posts are all still VERY useful.  Even when you have a bunch that are not engaged with it is with those stories and content that have engagement that we can create new definitions and understandings for better content to be created around it.  The World Wide Web was created to share ideas in managed places.  Thus Commetns and Posts are part of the orginal fabric of the WWW.  Jim, I would love to hear more about SocialFlow...see what we are doing with Comments and reach out as it fits.  

    In short, we focus on the Real Time business benefits by analyzing the data through Artificial Intelligence, Machined Learning and Natural language Processing and pushing back new meta data around the Content dynamically generating new key words for SEO and Ad Delvery Networks.  All of this can enhance RTB markets...thus take on the Oreo Dunk-in-the-Dark moments...