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A Strategist’s Reaction to 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report

Authors: Corynn Myers Corynn Myers
Posted Under: Social Media
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A Strategist's Reaction to RivalIQ's 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report


  • Brand engagement is down
  • Posting frequency is up
  • You need more contest and holiday content in your life
  • Instagram carousels are still ????

The bad and worse news on engagement

Do you remember when brands were getting 2%+ engagement rates on Facebook? Well, the latest from RivalIQ’s 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report says the median engagement rate on Facebook is now 0.064%.

Other median rates are not any better, with Instagram at 0.067% and Twitter at a measly 0.037%.

*cries in social media strategist*

Don’t worry; it gets worse!

Despite increased post frequency, brands saw another drop in organic engagement this year.

Did I mention it’s the Year of the Creator and that “User-generated, creator, and authentic influencer content will become a necessity while brand content will continue to decline in reach and engagement?” Yes, I did.

What else?

Influencers and Higher Ed are better at social media than the rest of us. 

I think higher ed’s superior performance has to do with, again, the demand for authentic content and their ability to use student content. Student content, which is authentic and looks like their customers, especially on Instagram. So, do as the higher ed marketers do and shift toward user-generated, creator, and authentic influencer content. Oh, and don’t forget employees!

Some good news?

Some industries actually increased their engagement on Twitter. RivalIQ notes, “Frequent tweeters Higher Ed and Sports Teams came out ahead on Twitter this year, but last-place Media showed other industries that higher tweet frequency isn’t always better.”

Industry-specific social performance

If you want to up your social game across the board, look at the higher ed and sports team industries. They performed above average across channels. I assume this has to do more with community and fandom than content. Again, niche communities are essential, especially today. Sports fans have a shared interest in their team and the sport they love, which means more sharing and engaging with content to show their advocacy. 

Higher ed has a unique set of customers in their prospective, current, and past students who also tend to be advocates long after graduation. Higher Ed also has a large number of undergraduate students who tend to be younger and thus more active on social media. 

It really does come down to creating advocates and community.

Let’s talk about Facebook. Sorry, I mean Meta.

Outside of sports teams, influencers dominate in terms of engagement on Facebook. Based on research, it comes down to more authentic content and community building. Am I repeating myself? Yes.

Over on Instagram, RivalIQ says engagement rates fell by about 30% overall, but Instagram engagement is still way higher than Facebook or Twitter. Putting aside sports teams and higher ed, we see influencers and nonprofits performing well above average.

Finally, Twitter.

Twitter is the only place brands increased their engagement rates. Alcohol, financial services, food and beverage, and health and beauty brands saw better-than-average results in 2021.

Alcohol brands tweeted the least but had the 3rd highest engagement rate of other industries. It appears alcohol’s success came from higher-performing photo Tweets. I also have a feeling COVID lockdowns and *gestures at everything* helped boost social users’ interest in alcoholic content.

Read more in the RivalIQ’s 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report

There you have it, a super quick reaction to RivalIQ’s 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report. Definitely check out the whole report for all the data and insights, and let me know what you think.

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