The State of Social Media – 2018 Report by Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a social listening platform helping brands discover what their customers are saying about their products and services, whether the overall sentiment is positive or negative, finding influencers, monitoring reputation and identifying trends.

In its State of Social 2018 Report report, Brandwatch unpacked the social engagement, consumer insights, biggest trends and brand health of 13 industries.

Analyzing over two hundred million conversations about the biggest brands, Brandwatch curated its 2018 social insights report to help marketers and brand managers drive smarter, more successful marketing and business decisions.

This report looks at the state of social media using 4 benchmarks:

  • Social content engagement
  • Brand and Industry Health
  • Owned vs Earned Social Media Conversation
  • Industry Spotlights and Common Trends for 2018

Let’s look at the state of social media and what it means for social media!

1. Social content engagement

Here is what an average day on Facebook looks like for the following top 3 industries:

Consumer technology – 21,95M
Television                      – 15,80M
Consumer goods          – 12,25M

Brand Posts
Television – 9,6
Airlines     – 1,7
Retail        – 1,6

Brand Comments
Telecom – 37,2
Retail      – 21,5
Airlines  – 19,7

Daily Content Likes
Television    – 14.871
Automotive  – 4.193
Fashion        – 2.863

Daily Net Page Likes
Consumer technology – 35.605
Automotive                   – 1.697
Airlines                          – 1.171

2. Brand and Industry Health

Social media is a great source of unfiltered consumer thought which makes social media analysis the first step every marketer should take in monitoring brand health.

As a marketer, social media analysis helps you answer the following questions:

Are customers satisfied with my brand’s promise?

How are they engaging with our brand and products?

Are we doing better or worse than the rest of the industry?

Could we improve any parts of our buyer journey that are particularly weak?

Benchmarking the emotions and sentiment surrounding your brand and industry reveals important issues to address as well as potential opportunities for your social program.


The State of Social Report 2018 / Brandwatch

Industries which experienced positive conversation

Industries which experienced negative conversation
Financial services

3. Owned vs Earned Social Media Conversation

Owned social media conversation
Airlines   – 18,4%
Telecom  – 14,1%
Hotels      – 9,7%

Earned social media conversation
Fashion     – 99,6%
Television – 99,1%
Retail         – 98,8%

4. Industry Spotlights and Common Trends for 2018

We chose to bring you spotlights and trends for three industries, for the complete list of industries check the Brandwatch report.


The retail industry attracted 98.8% earned social media conversation of which 80% positive.
The sample of retail companies which this report analyzed included big retail companies such as Amazon, Best Buy, Galeria Kaufhof, Lowe’s Companies, GameStop and Target.

The drivers of the negative conversation this year represented traditional retail issues, with “customer service”, “same day shipping”, #shoponline, and several other hashtags trending throughout the 2018.

The average retail consumer profile:

  • more likely to be female,
  • works in a creative field,
  • is slightly more likely to be interested in shopping.

Financial services

The conversation focused on financial services was 98% earned and 55% positive so there is definitely room for improvement.

This report looked at notable brands such as Aviva, Aflac, HSBC, Nationwide, and Wells Fargo.
Several of the top hashtags in the negative financial services conversation mention “boycotts” of several brands, as well as #2a, a reference to a US social movement in support of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution.

The average financial services consumer profile:

  • more likely to be male,
  • works in business or technology,
  • is interested in politics.

Consumer technology

Consumer technology experienced positive conversation on social media (76%) of which 94% was earned.
Some notable brands from this sample of technology companies include Apple, ASUS, Microsoft, Nintendo, NVIDIA, and Sony.

One of the biggest trends in conversation this year came from fans of the recently cancelled TV show ‘Timeless’ excitedly thanking Sony for turning it into a film.
Additionally, the Nintendo Switch, the annual event #CES2018, and brands Google, GoPro, and Amazon all drive conversation this year.

The average consumer tech fan profile:

  • more likely to be male,
  • is a student or works in a technical field,
  • is interested in gaming.

Brandwatch’s recommendations for brand managers and marketers:

  • Understand how your company fits into the lives of your customers;
  • Understand how your company and industry fits in the larger online landscape;
  • Think outside-of-the-box and consider how the activities of different industries inform, influence and affect one another;
  • Use every touchpoint, every interaction your customers have with your brand to shape your marketing, sales and overall business strategies;
  • Understand who your customers are;
  • Understand how they experience your products, your competitors, and your brand outside your industry;
    Connect with your customers and develop strategies to keep them by leveraging social media insights.
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