As you log another hour on your company's social media account or click "spend" on another Facebook ad campaign, are you wondering what your competitors are doing?

You can quickly tally the size of their audience or their average engagement rate. But it's hard to see beyond that — to the elements and factors that make those achievements feasible.

Luckily, once a year, an in-depth report from Social Media Examiner details all kinds of behind-the-scenes info from more than 5,700 marketers. See how your company's social media efforts stack up against others below.


  • The most used platforms (listed in order) are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat.
  • 10 percent fewer marketers are using Pinterest while 10 percent more are using Instagram.
  • More than half of marketers want to increase their Instagram activities next year.
  • Unsurprisingly, Facebook remains the most important platform.
  • But 40 percent are not sure if their Facebook marketing is working, and 53 percent have seen their reach decline this year.


  • Marketers post on Facebook eight times a day, Instagram four times a day, Twitter six times a day, LinkedIn four times a day, Pinterest three times a day and Snapchat once a day.
  • 73 percent of marketers plan to use even more visuals next year. In fact, visuals became the most important type of content for marketers, surpassing blogging for the first time.
  • 61 percent plan on creating live video next year.
  • Marketers are intrigued and want to learn more about Facebook Messenger, virtual reality/360 video and artificial intelligence/bots.


  • 26 percent of marketers spend five hours per week or less on social media.
  • 64 percent spend more than six hours per week or more on social media.
  • 41 percent spend more than 11 hours per week or more on social media.
  • 20 percent of marketers spend 20 hours per week or more on social media.

Advertising and budget

  • Nearly everyone (93 percent of marketers) regularly uses Facebook ads, and 64 percent plan to increase their advertising.
  • After Facebook, marketers often advertise on Instagram, LinkedIn and then Twitter, listed in order of popularity.
  • Marketers plan to increase spending on (listed in order) Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn ads.
  • More than half of marketers say they have no plans to advertise on Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.

Results and ROI

  • 62 percent of marketers are either uncertain or can't measure the ROI of their social media.
  • Here's what they do know. By investing at least six hours a week on social media ...
    • 90 percent of marketers increased exposure for their business.
    • 81 percent found website traffic grew.
    • 71 percent developed loyal fans.
    • 69 percent saw lead generation benefits.
    • More than 50 percent said it helped improve sales.

The people behind the scenes

  • Most social media marketers have either a little or a lot of experience. 24 percent have more than five years' experience, while 23 percent have less than one year.
  • The majority of social media marketers are between the ages of 30 and 59.
  • The participants were 60 percent female and 40 percent male.