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July sees another update to our Internet Statistics Compendium, and another month-load of the best publicly available data for digital marketers handily collected across our eight regional reports.

Some of the juiciest stats to reach our ISC over the last month have been around social media engagement.

Not only are engagement levels changing among fans, followers and viewers, as more brands look to social campaigns to reach audiences, but the way companies are measuring engagement is also evolving.

Facebook

Recent research from email and multichannel marketing specialists Yesmail looked at engagement levels with household-name brands including Ralph Lauren, H & M and Diesel.

From the outset, Yesmail were keen to highlight the need to standardise engagement data in order to obtain a fairer overview of how well Facebook fans are engaging with brands.

During the three months Yesmail tracked their brands, the average number of campaigns launched nearly doubled (from around 500 to more than 850). But rather than fans becoming put off by 'over-messaging', average actual campaign engagement followed this upward trend too.

Facebook campaign engagement (Yesmail)

However, when broken down by days of the week, engagement levels do not always correlate with the number of campaigns being implemented.

Weekday Campaign Volume vs. Weekday Engagement (Yesmail)

Twitter

Buddy Media analysed similar data for Twitter users in its report: Strategies For Effective Tweeting.

The report finds that Twitter followers are 17% more engaged with brands on weekends compared to weekdays, but few companies are currently taking advantage of this trend.

When analysing engagement by time of day, Twitter followers tend to be most engaged during working hours (between 8:00am and 7:00pm), while Facebook fans engage most at opposite times (between 8:00pm and 7:00am).

Busy hours vs. non-busy hours (Buddy Media)

Buddy Media also found that it is possible to tweet too much, seeing engagement levels decrease considerably when five or more tweets are published in a day.

YouTube

According to Yesmail once more, it is clear that fans become less engaged if presented with increasing quantities of YouTube content. Marketers clearly need to focus on quality engaging YouTube content in order to cut through the noise.

YouTube campaign engagement (Yesmail)

Weekday trends for YouTube are interesting too. While Thursdays and Fridays tend to see the most YouTube campaigns hit the web, days at the beginning of the week actually tend to see higher levels of engagement.

Key takeaways

For marketers, negotiating your way down the social media campaign route certainly calls for a significant amount of research into how engaged your audiences are generally, at what times they are most engaged, and when your competitors are seeking to engage them too.

Facebook campaigns need to be viewed on a like-for-like basis. When are similar-sized companies to your own seeing the best engagement? Although it can certainly depend on the type and quality of content brands produce, day of the week and time of the day can have a significant impact also.

The same goes for Twitter, though followers display quite different engagement habits to Facebook fans. Additionally, followers are clearly turned off by ‘tweet noise’ – and just a few tweets a day from branded profiles may see better connections forged between followers and content.

For YouTube campaigns, investment in fewer quality videos is certainly more worthwhile than spreading time and money over a greater number of less-involving releases. Audiences, generally, have more time to engage with this content at the beginning of the week than they do at the end.

The accuracy by which we can analyse engagement is providing marketers with a wealth of information on how to get the best results. There is significant variation of engagement habits among different social platforms and it’s exciting to see how emerging networks will provide more surprising trends in the future.

Luke Richards

Published 11 July, 2012 by Luke Richards

Luke Richards is a freelance writer and a guest blogger on Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his blog

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