Benchmarking KPIs for an Executive Social Media Program

Benchmarking KPIs for an Executive Social Media Program

The 2020 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report is an in-depth study analyzing engagement rates, posting frequency, and hashtag usage on social media across various industries.

Our research shows that on LinkedIn in particular executives achieve significantly more engagement than brands. That being said, by using the updated 2020 engagement rates as a benchmark, executives across different industries can set appropriate KPIs for their social media program.

The study looked at 14 different industries but this article will examine four select industries: fashion, financial services, food and beverage, and retail.

Based on the findings across all industries, these are the key takeaways for executives looking to establish a strong online presence:

  • Post up to once per day and at least three times per weekday (at least in the beginning). This is an effective baseline for executives to start with since posting more times per day does not guarantee increased engagement rates. As the social media program continues, executives may want to increase posting frequency based on the level of engagement they are seeing. Weekends typically sees lower engagement, which is why we recommend executives start with weekday posts.
  • Engagement-related KPIs should typically aim higher on Instagram, lower on Facebook, and lowest on Twitter. For instance, the median engagement rate is 1.22% on Instagram and 0.09% on Facebook. On Twitter, the median engagement rate was just 0.045%. Executives can use these averages to set a starting target for their own engagement rates.
  • On Twitter, video content generally received the most engagement but was not posted as often as photos. Executives should keep this in mind when creating content and use videos strategically.


Executive Social Media Recommendations by Industry

Fashion industry

Executives in fields that are more visual, such as the fashion industry, should focus their attention and content creation on Instagram. Photos achieved the highest engagement rates and on Instagram in particular and carousels were a close second. This is not to say that other platforms should not be part of the social media strategy, but that Instagram is projected to yield more favorable results.

While fashion brands do not post as often on Twitter, video content received more engagement than photo posts, representing an opportunity for executives to engage with others using a different content format.

Key benchmarks for executives on social media: 0.68% engagement rate on Instagram, start with 1 post per day, 3-5 times per week


financial industry social media engagement rates benchmarking kpis


Financial services industry

While Twitter typically has the lowest engagement rates when compared to Instagram and Facebook, the financial services industry ranks among the top when it comes to Twitter engagement. For executives in this field, a strong social media strategy on Twitter can set them apart from their competitors.

Unlike other industries on this list, finance-related brands post more often on Twitter and Facebook than Instagram. Although the study primarily focuses on B2C brands and does not cover LinkedIn, we have found that LinkedIn and Twitter are both key platforms for B2B brands in the financial industry.

This makes sense since, unlike the fashion industry, content related to financial services tends to focus on text. When analyzing engagement rates, Instagram leads the pack with 1.42%, compared to 0.66% on Twitter and 0.11% on Facebook. This represents an opportunity for executives to broaden their reach on a platform like Instagram where their competitors are not yet effectively active.

With video achieving the highest engagement rates among content types on Twitter, we recommend executives make use of this content format to deliver key messages.

Key benchmarks for executives on social media: 1.42% engagement rate on Instagram, 0.66% engagement rate on Twitter, 1 post per day (particularly on Twitter)


Food and beverage industry

Hashtag engagement rates were among the highest for the food and beverage industry. This means executives should make strategic use of hashtags in their posts. Paying attention to hashtag usage and best practices can drive increased engagement.

The study found that on both Twitter and Instagram, #giveaway garnered the most engagement at 0.680% and 3.650% respectively.

Even though this industry does not post as often compared to other industries, it still managed to rank in the middle in terms of engagement. The food and beverage industry only posted on average 0.36 posts per day on Facebook, 0.42 posts per day on Instagram, and 0.35 tweets per day on Twitter.

A strong executive social media program should focus on visual content in the form of images (Facebook and Instagram) and videos (Twitter).

Key benchmarks for executives on social media: 1.18% engagement rate on Instagram, 0.10% engagement rate on Facebook


Retail industry

Photo content performed the best on Instagram and Facebook (this includes carousels on Instagram), and similar to other industries, videos had the highest engagement rate on Twitter.

Retail brands post more on Facebook and Instagram, but significantly less on Twitter. For executives in the retail space, they should be making use of Instagram as a visual platform. However, there is an opportunity on Twitter to build a stronger brand presence as fewer retail brands are posting content on that platform.

Key benchmarks for executives on social media: 1 post per day (especially on Instagram and Twitter), 0.67% engagement rate on Instagram


retail industry social media engagement rates benchmarking KPIs


Overall 2020 Engagement Rates by Platform

Compared to 2019, engagement is slightly down on Instagram, but remained one of the most engaging social media platforms for users. Engagement for both Twitter and Facebook maintained similar rates in 2020.


Median engagement rate: 0.09%

Median: 0.83 posts per day


Median engagement rate: 1.22%

Median: 0.62 posts per day


Median engagement rate: 0.045%

Median: 0.77 tweets per day


Building a Strategic Executive Social Media Program

This study only looked at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but LinkedIn is another key platform for many executives. Based on an executive’s key objectives, building an online presence on select social media platforms makes more sense than being on all platforms.

To learn more about our social media marketing packages and how it can help executives reach their business goals, click the button below to book a consultation with our experts.