This report highlights how News Feed engagement with both brand-generated posts and user-generated posts changed over the course of 2016. The research presented offers insight into Facebook user-generated content trends and benchmarks, including average engagements per post, average engagements per user, and average posts per user.
The study was based on an analysis of 25 million user-generated Facebook posts published between January 2016 and December 2016, aggregated from the first-party authentication of one million micro-influencers, defined as users with between 500 and 5,000 Facebook friends.
Key takeaways include:
- User engagement in 2016 was lower compared to 2015: There was a 15.14 percent decrease in engagements per post in 2016 compared to 2015. Users also saw a 11.41 percent year over year decrease in total number of engagements on their posts.
- Facebook users posted less original content in 2016: Year over year, there was a 29.49 percent decrease in posts per user.
- Facebook successfully reversed seven declining months of News Feed engagement: Facebook’s 2016 algorithm changes, which focused on prioritizing both video content and content shared by users, reversed 7 consecutive months of declining News Feed engagement, which occurred between September 2015 and March 2016.
- User-generated posts drove much higher engagement than brand-generated posts: User-generated content featuring a brand drove 6.9x higher engagement than brand-generated content.
- Average engagement per post was significantly higher for more influential users: Analysis shows a clear correlation between a user’s influence and the average engagement that user saw per post. On average, the earned engagement rate for users in the 75th influencer percentile was 3.5x higher.