How 2016 Marketers Engaged on Social Media.

How did marketers use social media this year? Here are some of the more striking stats and trends.
Chris Sugrue
Chris Sugrue
December 23, 2016 - 3 min. read

This year Falcon users posted 28 million+ times on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube. Here’s a breakdown of some of the stats for 2016, how they compare to the previous year, and what they can tell us about the state of social heading into 2017.

increase social media engagement

Twitter and Facebook still far ahead
Twitter and Facebook comprised the bulk of posts, with Twitter experiencing the bigger increase (83%) in posting compared to 2015. Facebook posts rose by 30%. Other notable increases in activity were on Instagram (97%) and LinkedIn (61%) while YouTube posts dropped by 21%.

So, once more, Twitter and Facebook close the year as the most popular networks for marketers. The increase in posting on both can be safely tied to the rather explosive figures coming next…

increase social media engagement

Video went boom
Earlier this year we talked about the explosive growth of video, and the stats bear this out with a 130% increase in video posts across all relevant networks.

Twitter launched native video in early 2015. The meteoric 388% increase in Twitter video posts this year shows the format is only gaining in popularity (aided, no doubt, by the increase in video length from 30 to 140 seconds).

Facebook’s 183% increase fits perfectly with the network’s 10-year plan released in April. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been unambiguous on the topic, declaring a ‘video-first’ future for the network. The demand is certainly there. Facebook was already reporting eight billion views at the start of this year, up from ‘just’ one billion in 2014.

It’s not surprising then that marketers are turning to video as a lifeline in the drop in organic reach. They have also grasped how compelling a format video is for grabbing attention in busy newsfeeds where each story only has a few nanoseconds to stand out.

In addition, Facebook Live Video and Instagram Stories are being enthusiastically adopted due to their real-time engagement benefits.

increase social media engagement

Meanwhile, static image posts increased by 84% on Twitter. Facebook’s increased by a more modest 22%, but its Facebook Carousel Ads format has clearly taken off this year with a staggering 11,749% increase (it launched in February last year).

Twitter beat YouTube on video 
An interesting development we see is that Twitter edged past YouTube with video: comprising 13% of all brand video posts compared to 9%.

Generally considered a bystander in the YouTube–Facebook video standoff, it seems Twitter native video, introduced in early 2015, is stamping its own authority on this highly-contested playing field.

Dark posts doubled
Facebook dark posts, more correctly called unpublished page posts, increased by 92%. The benefit? Stripped of their ominous name dark posts are simply promoted, news-feed style ads that don’t appear in your timeline. This allows targeted engagement that doesn’t clutter fan feeds.

Other networks offer the option in the form of promoted-only tweets and LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. After years of flirting with the tactic, it seems 2016 has been the year that brands opted in.

Mobile-first thinking is officially in effect
Both networks and brands are focusing on mobile in the face of changing consumer behavior, namely the continuing rise in mobile viewing. This can be seen in the 60% increase in more mobile-friendly link posts across Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and LinkedIn, while posts with text links have declined by 15%. Facebook announced its feed would favor the former in 2014, a change marketers are now clearly on board with.

increase social media engagement

Falcon users helped all this along with 3 million messages
One last stat: more than 3,153,000 comments, direct messages and replies were sent by people using Falcon’s Engage in-box. With such an increase in social media engagement, it’s no wonder this flexible feature is in such high demand. You can see it in action here:

One key takeaway from this barrage of statistics is simply this: escalating uptake proves that social media shed its status as an outlying tactic long ago.

At we say ‘social media marketing’ isn’t even really a thing anymore: there’s just marketing. The 2016 behavior of our platform users vividly illustrates that. And it’s an exciting trajectory whose momentum will only continue into 2017.

Get ready for 2017 now
Download our 4-in-1 guide and go through all the steps in the article.