Study Says Post Engagement Rates on TikTok Far Outperform Other Platforms

March 16, 2022

Brand engagement rates are multiples higher on TikTok than on other popular platforms, finds an analysis from Socialinsider. In its examination of engagement rates across a 2-year period, Socialinsider reports that not only are engagement rates far higher on TikTok than on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but that the gap is widening.

In 2021, the average TikTok engagement rate for the profiles analyzed was 5.96%. By comparison, the next-closest of the other platforms was Instagram, at 0.83%. Facebook (0.13%) and Twitter (0.05%) trailed even further.

It’s important to look at the methodology used to arrive at these figures. Per the report, “TikTok engagement rate is calculated as the sum of likes, comments and shares on the post divided by the total number of followers that profile has. The result is then multiplied by 100.” The authors note that the use of this methodology – as opposed to looking at engagements divided by views – makes it easier to compare TikTok’s rates with other social media platforms.

What’s interesting to see is that TikTok’s average post engagement rate in 2021 (5.96%) increased from the year prior (5.11%; data only analyzed for H2). For each of the other platforms, however, average engagement rates decreased. For Instagram, the average fell from 0.9% to 0.83%, while for Facebook it was down from 0.2% to 0.13% and for Twitter from 0.06% to 0.05%. Socialinsider theorizes that TikTok is drawing attention away from these other three platforms.

A recent study from Rival IQ likewise found that post engagement rates last year were higher on Instagram than on Facebook, which in turn were higher than on Twitter. Although the engagement rates reported were not the same as in the Socialinsider study, they were not vastly different, and were based on a median rather than mean average.

TikTok’s high engagement, as seen in this latest study, should be welcome news for the many marketers who plan to up their investments in the platform this year.

Which Industries Are Most Engaging?

Socialinsider’s analysis indicates that last year the Travel industry had the highest average post engagement rate on Instagram. At 1.41%, it was about 70% higher than the 0.83% average across industries. Fashion and Beauty were found, by comparison, to have the lowest engagement rates, of 0.53% and 0.54%, respectively. This aligns with Rival IQ’s recent report, in which Fashion and Health & Beauty represented two of the 3 lowest-ranking industries in terms of median post engagement rate.

On Facebook, FMCG-Food led the way last year with an average post engagement rate of 0.36%, per Socialinsider, with Beverages (0.29%) next. Fashion (0.09%) was again towards the bottom. There is some alignment with the Rival IQ report, which found that Alcohol was an above-average performer, and Fashion a below-average industry.

On Twitter, Jewelry (0.18%) was the standout performer in the Socialinsider analysis, with FMCG-Food (0.12%) the only other to exceed the 0.1% mark. Media (0.03%) and Magazines-Journals (0.01%) were the lowest performers, a result which correlates with Rival IQ’s finding that Media was the worst performer on Twitter.

Finally, on TikTok, the platform with the highest average post engagement rate, it was FMCG-Food again leading the way last year, with an impressive 15.82% average engagement rate. Both Beverages (12.79%) and Jewelry (10.08%) exceeded the double-digit mark, while Arts & Crafts (4.54%) and Media (3.43%) ranked at the bottom of the list.

Twitter’s Content Types the Most Diverse

Twitter boasts the most varied forms of post content, according to Socialinsider, with a fairly even split across videos, status, photo, and link posts. GIF posts also featured prominently, though were slightly less apt to be used than the other types.

By contrast, Facebook and Instagram posts were much more heavily reliant on photos. In fact, photos comprised about 70% of all the posts analyzed on Instagram during the 2-year period, with their average engagement rate of 0.83% seemingly slightly lower than the overall average for Instagram posts. Previous research has indicated that carousel posts tend to have the highest engagement rates on Instagram.

Meanwhile, photos also made up about 70% of all brand content posted on Facebook during the period of analysis, though the average engagement rate of 0.39% for these posts appears to be considerably higher than the all-post average.

About the Data: The results are based on an analysis of more than 27 million posts from a total of 52,767 business pages on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from January 2020 through December 2021. The TikTok data is drawn from an analysis of 50 profiles from every industry from July 2020 through December 2021.

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