Trends in
Post Performance.

In this section, we focused on how post performance has been changing over time on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In particular, we looked at how engagement rates on organic social posts have changed since 2017.

Why does this matter for social media pros? For starters, tons of articles have come out in the past claiming that organic social posts were dead, or dying, or fine after all. We wanted to get hard data to prove what the real trends were.

Plus, your social strategy depends on these trends. If engagement and reach are declining, you should be considering how to fight the decline with improved content or a paid strategy. If engagement is up on some channels and down on others, you should be thinking about focusing more on the most engaged channels. Or, if reach and engagement are up all around, you should be looking at how to get the most out of those organic gains.

Below, you’ll see how changes to social media algorithms and changes in user behavior have affected post performance over the last two years. You’ll also see if the average engagement rate per post has been increasing, decreasing or staying the same. So, let’s see the truth.

Instagram
2 0 4 6 8 10 12 2017 2018 2019 7.0% 6.7% 6.6% 6.7% 6.4% 6.6% 6.7% 6.9% 6.4% 6.6% 6.7% 6.5% 6.3% 6.7% 6.5% 6.6% 6.5% 6.4% 6.3% 6.4% 6.2% 6.2% MAR MAY JUL SEP NOV JAN MAR JAN MAY JUL SEP NOV

Engagement Rate Over a Two-Year Period

The average engagement rate for posts on Instagram was 6.6%, almost 10x higher than Facebook’s. This means that users who see content on Instagram are much more likely to interact with it than users who see content on Facebook.

It looks like the average engagement rate on Instagram has been fairly stable with a slight decline over the last two years. This is exemplified by the fact that engagement rate was 7.3% in March 2017, but by March 2019 it was down to 6.4%.

This could be a sign that the platform is becoming more saturated with content over time and the novelty of the network is wearing off to some extent. The slight decline doesn’t seem to correspond to the March 2018 algorithm change, as the engagement rate was higher in May 2018 than in March.

So, it looks more probable that users are simply becoming less engaged with the average post on Instagram. To compensate, social media professionals will need to make their content stand out. We recommend these 21 tips for improving engagement on Instagram.

2019 Social Media Data Report.

Want more information on how post engagement & reach have changed since 2017? Then download our 2019 Social Media Data Report for additional insights & stats.