Social Media Analytics Blog

Benchmark Study Q1 2017 – Current Social Media Trends

Setting goals for a social media strategy is important, but adapting the strategy to the previous performance and to the evolution of each network is essential. For the following study, we have analyzed 740,000 social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To make it easier to apply the findings to specific cases that marketers might encounter, we look at social media data by profile size clusters. Overall, we aim to show general social media trends regarding the three most important networks. But now let’s talk numbers!

Study proves: 530% more comments on Facebook Native videos

This study on Facebook videos has been refreshed in October 2017 for you to keep you updated about the latest developments in the usage of videos on Facebook.

Thousand of videos are shared on Facebook timelines everyday. So every time you view your Facebook timeline, you will probably come across some moving images. In particular, media companies and brands are making more and more use of videos. The strategy behind this is mainly the fact that video content has the advantage of engaging users for a longer period. Through the combination of visual and audio components, videos have the possibility to transmit an experience that goes beyond that of images.


Use of Emojis Leads to 47.7% More Interactions on Instagram

This study has been refreshed in November 2017 to keep you updated on the latest developments in the usage of emojis on Instagram.

Since the early days of digital communication, it’s been common practice to use emoticons as a way to express feelings. After many years of using “:-)”, emojis, as we know them today, stepped into our lives. Research found that when we look at a smiling face online, the same parts of the brain are stimulated as when we look at a human face – so they actually show a real effect on human beings.

Today, we don’t only use emojis when chatting with friends on Whatsapp or iMessage, but they are also used as a part of the social media communication of businesses. This is why we wanted to find out how and how often people currently use emojis, as well as whether posts containing emojis receive a higher amount of interactions. The following Instagram emoji study tackles all of these questions and reveals some great insights on how businesses can currently profit from emojis.

In order to understand how emojis are used on Instagram, we analyzed around 29,000 accounts with 5.5 million posts between January 1 and July 31, 2017. Based on this data, we are now able to answer some interesting questions.

Instagram Emoji Study

Instagram Emojis Study Shows: 56.5% of Instagram Accounts Use Emojis

To start with a bird’s eye view on how often emojis are used, we analyzed how many Instagram accounts had at least one emoji in their posts. We found that more than 50% – 56.5% to be precise – included at least one emoji in July 2017. This shows that businesses seem to be interested in using emojis on Instagram, although their reasons might vary.

Looking at the averages of all analyzed profiles helps us gather a general understanding of the emojis used. Whereas, this approach doesn’t look at different profile sizes in particular and these clusters vary greatly on all networks. That’s why we split all analyzed accounts into six groups.

instagram emoji

Here, it becomes clear that the smallest profile group containing 1 to 1,000 followers use emoticons significantly less than all other pages. In January 2017, just around 23% of all profiles in this cluster used emojis. Over the analyzed period, the use of emojis grew in this cluster by 1.3%, also showing the lowest growth of all six clusters. At the end of our analyzed period, on July 31, 24.3% of all accounts from 1 to 1,000 followers used at least one emoji in their posts.

In order to receive insights on all profile clusters, check slide four in our Instagram emoji study below. Spoiler alert: The biggest pages analyzed used emojis in 83.3% of their posts!

Comparing these numbers to our previous emoji study, we can see that growth in emoji usage has significantly slowed down since our last analysis. While the overall growth was 19% in 2016, we only detected a growth of around 3% from January to July 2017. This growth slump doesn’t necessary imply any negative effects though, as it is only normal that people don’t endlessly add more emojis to their posts it’s an expectable saturation.

Instagram Emojis – More Often Seen in Image or Video Posts?

After learning how often emojis were used, we were eager to dig deeper. Now, we used the aggregated data to find whether there is a difference between images and videos. However, we found no stark difference here: around 31% of all image posts and 29% of all video posts contain emojis. Based on these findings, we can say that businesses are equally likely to use emojis in images as well as in video posts.

Before we answer the question if emojis actually help businesses receive higher interactions on Instagram, let’s have a look at the most frequently used emoticons.

And the Most Popular Instagram Emoji Is… *drum roll*

Of all nearly 2,000 existing emojis, the following chart shows you the ten most popular emojis on Instagram for the analyzed period. Which of these did you use in the analyzed period? Including new emojis in your posts might further improve the interactions you receive on videos and images.

instagram emoji

The camera icon is the most frequently used emoji on Instagram. Last year, we analyzed the New York Times Fashion on Instagram and discovered that the “📸 ” is the most used emoticon there, and the same holds true for this study. Interestingly, among the most used emojis, there is no “classic” smiley one like 🙂.

After finding out which emojis are the most popular ones, we asked ourselves which of these create the biggest impact in terms of interactions. To measure this, we chose to compare the interaction rates that the emojis get and we found out something quite interesting. Download the full study report to see which emojis perform best!

Instagram Emoji Study

Emojis Lead to 47.7% More Interactions

Do emojis lead to more engagement? Yes! Our analysis shows that posts containing at least one emoji receive 47.7% more average interactions per post in the analyzed period. This clearly shows that emojis aren’t just fun decoration but a means to engage better with your audience.

instagram emoji

The interaction rate makes profiles of different sizes comparable and thus delivers another balanced out view on the increase of engagement. This metric underlines the revealed facts again and shows a 15% difference of posts with vs. without emojis. Access the free study above to find how much higher the received interactions are while using emojis, specifically for your profile size. In order to keep track of interactions you receive, it’s essential to approach the measurement of your Instagram activities, to constantly improve your strategy.

How to Use Emojis for Business

Emojis are used by the majority of the analyzed Instagram profiles, but the adoption pace is slowing down. The study also found that the “camera with flash icon” was the top Instagram emoji in between January and July 2017. Finally, we were able to prove that emojis lead to higher interactions and certain ones to more than others. To formulate a key takeaway from this Instagram emoji study, we can say that emojis can be greatly beneficial to improve the number of interactions. With that said, businesses should try to include emoticons to express feelings and give a more personal touch, but they also need to be careful to not overuse them. Any questions on this? Never hesitate to send us a tweet!

You can access our original study here.

Facebook Analytics

Benchmark Study: Set the right social media goals for 2017

It’s that time of year again. December not only means getting Christmas presents for your loved ones; It also means having to take closer look on the year’s performance before we can celebrate the new year with some fireworks. The following blog post takes our Social Media Benchmarking Study as a source for referencing in order to set social media goals properly. (more…)

Mercedes vs. Tesla: Social media face off

Mercedes-Benz and Tesla are both big players and competitors in the car industry. The competition for the car manufacturers doesn’t happen only on the streets; Mercedes vs. Tesla can also be seen on social media. For this reason, we have taken a look at the social media appearance of one of the oldest car companies, Mercedes-Benz, with its 90 year old history, and at Tesla, a pioneer of electric cars that was founded only 13 years ago. Basically, it is the establishment against the new kid in town.


30 biggest brands on Facebook analyzed in-depth

Facebook is still standing tall as the most popular social media network for users and brands are investing heavily into their social media marketing. It offers interaction with users that show admiration for the brand and can be valuable as a more personal approach to new customers. But how well are the top brands on Facebook really performing? It’s one thing to see if they are still showing up in your timeline, but are they still posting as much as before? Is high activity on the network still being rewarded? What can you learn from their performance? (more…)

Twitter study: Steep drop in interactions for biggest profiles!

It is time for our first Twitter study in which we take a closer look on the first six months of 2015 and 2016. We analyzed a huge amount of Twitter profiles, 30k if you want to know the exact number, but don’t expect a simple resume of boring numbers and data. This study provides an interesting in-depth insight into the logic behind Twitter, and works out specific details of usage and strategies of the micro blogging channel. Keep in mind that this study is not only beneficial for marketers but also for everyone else that wants to learn more about the behavior of Twitter. The numbers will not only help you to understand the changes that happened in comparison to the first half of 2015, but also provide an understanding of the distribution of engagement on Twitter. We categorized the analyzed profiles in six different groups, so that every marketer is able to benchmark their own performance against the individual average. Are you so excited as we are about the results? So let’s get started! (more…)

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