[Study] Third Quarter 2018 Social Media Benchmarks: Automotive, Beauty, Fashion, Food Industries


| Studies | Maria Ganta

We've decided to study the most important Facebook and Instagram metrics across four business verticals: beauty, fashion, auto, and food.

We looked at brand engagement on Facebook and Instagram for major brands (on each category) to see how engagement changed and how brands tailored their content strategy to face the algorithm changes.

Engagement is defined as a measurable interaction on social media posts, including likes, comments, favorites, shares, and reactions. Engagement rate is calculated based on all these interactions divided by the total follower count.

Within this report, we analyzed 100k Instagram and Facebook posts from a representative sample of international brands in each industry by selecting 30 brands at random from each industry from our database throughout January - October 2018.

Brands selected had an active presence on Facebook and Instagram as of January 2018 with substantial audiences on Facebook - more than 50,000 fans.

We used Socialinsider to compile the data for this report and determinate the median performance and the social media benchmarks for each industry.

Let's dive in!

Adina working on this study


Auto, beauty, fashion and food benchmarks across the most important social media metrics


👉 TL;DR

👉 Objectives
1. Is Facebook or Instagram the king of social media engagement?
2. Posting frequency on Facebook vs. Instagram
3. Post types distribution on Facebook vs. Instagram

👉 Key takeaways


👉 TL;DR

In a hurry? Here’s the tl;dr version. These are the four key takeaways you’ll find inside:

  • Instagram is the new home for brands seeking an impact on social media. (Click to tweet)
  • Auto, beauty, fashion and food brands publish 0.85 posts a day on Facebook, while they publish 1.89 posts a day on Instagram. (Click to tweet)
  • During Q3 2018, the auto, beauty, fashion and food industries posted 26.16% of videos on Facebook, which is more than Instagram posts where 19.66% of videos were published. (Click to tweet)
  • Posting more doesn't correlate with engagement. Industries with higher engagement rates have a hyper-targeted and engaged audience. (Click to tweet)

👉 Objectives

There are tons of ways to measure your social media performance, but benchmarks show you the hidden gears that drive growth. With the right data, you can tailor your strategy and figure out if you're succeeding or failing against your competitors.

This report features a wide range of brands for these industries: automotive, beauty, fashion and food, and it focuses on two most used social media channels: Facebook and Instagram.

Each section highlights the following metrics along with actionable insights you can apply to your strategy:

  • total engagement for each industry
  • average posts per day for each industry
  • posting frequency
  • post types distribution on Facebook vs. Instagram.

The objectives included in this social media study are:

  1. Which social media channel is the king of engagement for the automotive, beauty, fashion and food industry
  2. Posting frequency for the automotive, beauty, fashion and food industry on Facebook vs. Instagram
  3. Post types distribution for the automotive, beauty, fashion and food industry approaching Facebook vs. Instagram

#1. Is Facebook or Instagram the king of social media engagement?

Studies have shown that the automotive industry next to beauty, fashion and food are one of the most popular verticals on Instagram and Facebook worldwide.

Brands gathered around automotive, beauty, fashion and food industries are creating social medial posts with intention to connect with their audience and create meaningful interactions. The response of the audience is much greater on Instagram than Facebook.

When it comes to engagement, Instagram holds the title for the most arguably metric—engagement. Looking at the graph below, Instagram is getting much more engagement for brands than Facebook.

Average engagement in category

The beauty, fashion and automotive segments are the most engaged industries on Instagram, followed by the food segment.

If you're wondering why Instagram is the king of engagement, Ryan Holmes - co-founder @ Hootsuite - has this definition:

"The differential comes down to Instagram’s DNA: The network (Instagram) is and has always been a visual-first platform. And that’s an undeniable advantage. At a biological level, visual content can be processed faster and more efficiently by the human brain, is retained longer, elicits stronger emotions and is engaged with more often."

📌 Actionable insights for brands:

  • Photos on Instagram consistently foster the most engagement across almost all industries.
  • Level up your Instagram engagement by posting more carousels.

#2. Posting frequency on Facebook vs. Instagram

Our second objective of this study was to find out what’s the frequency of posting on Facebook and Instagram for the automotive, beauty, fashion and food brands.

To find this out, we calculated the average of posts per day for the last ten months.

Automotive brands: the posting frequency

For the past ten months, the automotive brands have a similar behavior of posting on Facebook and Instagram:

  • On Facebook, the automotive brands post daily an average of 0.59 posts.
  • On Instagram, the automotive brands posts daily an average of 0.82 posts.

The posting behavior of the automotive brands on Facebook vs. Instagram

Beauty brands: the posting frequency

When it comes to content strategy, the beauty brands are more active on Instagram than Facebook.  

  • On Facebook, the beauty brands post an average of 0.85 posts per day.
  • On Instagram, the beauty brands an average of 2.73 posts per day.

The posting behavior of the beauty brands on Facebook vs. Instagram

Fashion brands: the posting frequency

In this study, we noticed that fashion brands have more engagement than any other industry that we selected here. This is the result of the statement that "less is more", which means that strictly targeted and engaged community reacts more often, even in the situation of limited number of posts per day.

  • On Facebook, the fashion brands post an average of 1 post per day.
  • On Instagram, the fashion brands post an average of 1.89 posts per day.

Posting behavior of the fashion brands on Facebook vs. Instagram

Food brands: the posting frequency

The food brands have the same behavior of posting on Facebook and Instagram:

  • On Facebook, the food brands post average of 0.36 posts per day.
  • On Instagram, the food accounts post an average of 0.37 posts per day.

Post types distribution of the food brands on Facebook and Instagram

As you may see from the charts, the differences are quite considerable except the food industry where the average of posts per day on Instagram equals Facebook.

In the overall study, these brands are posting more on Instagram than Facebook. We also have the car brands that are posting 0.28% more on Instagram vs. Facebook, while the fashion industry brands have 0.47% more posts on Instagram when comparing to Facebook.

📌 Actionable insights for brands:

  • These industries need to continue their focus on engaging content on Instagram.
  • Instagram is the king of engagement, however Facebook could be the champion of reach in the social media universe. These brands have millions of fans on Facebook, definitely is not a channel to miss out. Start creating groups on Facebook to build an engaged community around the brands' values.

#3. Post types distribution on Facebook vs. Instagram

Given the social media context - 'Facebook is a place for friends and family', and the Instagram algorithm determines the look of your Instagram feed by interest, time and relationship, these four business verticals started posting more videos on Facebook, and more photos on Instagram. Status text is something for the past for these industries. For the beauty, cars or fashion brands photos are the key for engagement.

Post tyes distribution of the automotive brands on Facebook vs. Instagram

In the last ten months, the automotive brands published 69% of photos and 24.7% of videos on Facebook, while on Instagram they published 74% of photos and 14.7% of videos on Instagram.

Post types distribution of the beauty brands on Facebook and Instagram

The beauty brands posted 64.3% of photos and 21.6% of videos on Facebook, comparing to 80.2% of photos and 15% of videos posted on Instagram.

Post types distribution of the fashion brands on Facebook and Instagram

The industry gathered around the fashion brands published 65.9% of photos on Instagram, which is very close to 69.9% of photos on Facebook. They also published slightly more videos on Facebook (26.2%) than Instagram (19.7%).

Post types distribution of the food brands on Facebook vs. Instagram

We also need to mention the food brands that have more influence in video segment on Facebook with 41.1% of videos than the overall results on Instagram where they published 27.4% of videos. When it comes to photos, the food brands placed 50% of photos on Facebook vs. 68.1% of photos on Instagram

📌 Actionable insights for brands:

  • Photos on Instagram are the key to the content strategy on Instagram. They consistently raise the most engagement rates across almost all industries.
  • Forget about status updates on Facebook, focus more and more on videos.

👉 Key takeaways

Studying these four industries with a total of 100k total posts, here's what we learned:

  1. Engagement on Instagram is unparalleled. The engagement on Instagram is much higher, even in situations when brands post more on Facebook.
  2. Instagram is the new home for brands. Automotive, beauty, fashion and food industries are slowly moving the communication from Facebook to Instagram.
  3. Photos on Instagram consistently foster the most engagement across almost all industries. More carousels in photos on Instagram can push the brands towards greater engagement of audience in all industries.
  4. If video isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it should be. Consider promoting videos on other platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia.
  5. Facebook remains to be a leading media for the overall reach in the social media universe. With millions of fans, it could be even more influential if the brands start to create groups for conversations between users.

Infographic - Social media benchmarks for automotive, beauty, food and fashion industries


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Hungry for more benchmarking? You can create your industry benchmark with the help of Socialinsider.

Maria Ganta

Maria Ganta

I love to explore the world and learn new things. I like to consider myself an optimist, a social media addict and a storyteller with a lot of imagination.

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