This week we launched our 10th annual social media report, looking at 100 of the biggest brands on Instagram and TikTok.
Senior Associate Director
This week we launched our 10th annual social media report, looking at 100 of the biggest brands on Instagram and TikTok to understand the latest trends and assess how social media is changing.
Battenhall's team has pored through the data flowing through the social media ecosystem since 2013, publishing our annual social media report every year since, and we can now look back to analyse what has panned out so far, to understand what we think now lies ahead. Our analysis this year focuses on the two most active social networks for brands, and builds on our data from previous years across diverse sources from Twitter and YouTube to LinkedIn and Snapchat.
What has emerged this year is an evolution in how content is produced by brands and consumed by increasingly diverse audiences. It’s social media 2.0, with platforms reinventing themselves and adapting in order to reflect these changes in usage.
We’re seeing a notable transition from the highly polished Instagram posts of recent years to the more ‘real’ content on TikTok as Gen Z takes control.
But what unifies the highest-performing brands on social media today is engagement. Successful content is entertaining content, whether that’s a video, an image, or the written word. To succeed in the age of the algorithm, entertaining social media content must engage. It is this relationship between entertainment and engagement that we have examined in our social media report this year.
Our latest study was conducted during October and November 2022. We analysed more than 7,500 pieces of social media content across 10 sectors to understand how some of the biggest brands are driving engagement.
The report has 20 pages packed full of data, insights and learnings, with sector-by-sector breakdowns of information, which you can download here.
To give you a flavour of what to expect, here are six key takeaways from the report:
Six key findings from the Instagram and TikTok Brands 100 Report
1. Video use is surging
It now makes up 56% of Instagram feed posts – a 75% increase on its 32% share in 2021. But static pictures haven't disappeared yet! Nearly a third (29%) of Instagram posts include still images, while 15% are carousels.
2. Timing is everything
TikTok videos longer than 30 seconds generate 1.7x more engagement than shorter ones, as audiences are often more invested in the content and want to share, comment or like once they have watched the whole video.
3. Hashtags do matter!
Our research found they do increase engagement on Instagram, with 3-5 hashtags being the sweet spot, helping to raise the average engagement rate from 0.25% to above 1%.
4. Make your captions count
Short post captions drive engagement. TikTok videos with captions under 100 characters received 1.3x more likes than those over 100 characters. On Instagram, the sweet spot is between 40 and 100 characters.
5. Keep swiping
Instagram carousels generate the most likes compared to any other post format. It seems that people love a carousel to swipe through: they get 1.3x more likes per post than videos and 1.1x more than still images.
6. Industry advice
Sectors including B2B, finance, entertainment, tourism, and transport all generate higher numbers of engagement per post on TikTok than Instagram. This is because TikTok is one of the most accessible places to get advice and recommendations, with FinTok (Finance TikTok), travel recommendations, and trainspotter extraordinaire Francis Bourgeois, all racking up huge views.
Engagement is everything
It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but TikTok outperformed Instagram when broken down to engagement per post vs followers, reflecting the surge in video content we've seen. Of course, TikTok is all about views, while Instagram is more about followers. But it's a trend worth watching to see whether brands continue to shift their content to TikTok in 2023.
Looking ahead to next year, we think brands and businesses need to pay attention to audience engagement – how they use the platform, and where they are. By leaning into audience data, brands can innovate accordingly and serve content that keeps users entertained. It’s all about creating a memorable brand identity.
We hope our 10th brand social media benchmark helps you spot opportunities that lie ahead. Download the full report here.