Publisher: New report measures social media reach | News in publishing

There are 4.5 billion social media users globally, but publishers could make more of this opportunity

Social media usage is higher than ever, but publishers may not be taking the opportunity to reach their audience as much as their competitors. A new report from publishing automation company Echobox sheds light on benchmarking data from some of the biggest platforms to help publishers understand how their social media reach compares to the competition and how to get the best ROI.

Social media benchmarking More than 4.5 billion people worldwide use social media. In theory, this gives publishers access to nearly 60% of the world’s population, and with social media usage growing at an average of 3% per year, the opportunity to expand audience reach was greater than ever. Echobox’s Ultimate Collection of 2023 Social Media Benchmarks report includes benchmarks for the largest social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Echobox serves more than 1,500 brands and companies around the world and the report is based on analyzing thousands of their social shares. The report’s authors encourage readers to use the international benchmarking data to understand how different platforms perform in driving traffic back to a website. Comparisons can be used to optimize social media strategies and target activities to improve engagement and increase click-through rates, attract new readers, and strengthen relationships. They say:

Healthy click patterns allow businesses to capitalize on the massive number of social media users and drive them to their website’s carefully curated environment.


Despite publisher pullbacks, Echobox rates Facebook as “still perhaps the greatest social resource for businesses looking to increase click-through traffic.” With nearly 2 billion daily active users and nearly 3 billion monthly active users, it boasts a social media reach that spans over 30% of the world’s population.

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Analyzing over 3,000 Facebook pages from hundreds of companies over a 6-month period shows that the platform generates an average of 3% of all social media referral traffic.


Metas Instagram has over 2 billion monthly active users and growing. Almost 40% of users visit the platform weekly, according to the Reuters Institute’s 2022 Digital News Report. The report highlighted research showing that the audience on Instagram is younger than that of the other benchmark platforms.

Analyzing referral traffic from 200+ Instagram pages over a 6-month period, the platform accounts for an average of 3.8% of all social media referral traffic.


Management issues aside, Twitter continues to be “an effective tool for businesses hoping to increase brand visibility, increase audience engagement, generate click-through rates, or grow subscribers.” The number of monetizable daily active Twitter users stands at nearly 240 million in the company’s Q2 2022 earnings report, up 16.65% year over year.

Analysis of page view data from more than 600 Twitter pages over a 6 month period showed that Twitter generates an average of 6.7% of all social referral traffic.


Publishers are increasing their presence on LinkedIn, which has nearly 1 billion users worldwide. LinkedIn users are older – 60% are between 25 and 34 years old. As a result, they are paying more for content than the global average, according to a 2020 World Economic Forum report.

Analysis of 100+ different LinkedIn pages over a 6-month period revealed that on average, publishers receive about 1.5% of all LinkedIn social traffic.

The true value of content

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The detailed analysis in the full report gives publishers insight into the value of their content across a range of social media platforms and across specific content verticals, including sports, news and lifestyle.

Understanding the value of your content, whether it’s in driving social media reach, website traffic, or generating advertising revenue, is critical to planning, creating, and publishing content that truly supports your business goals.

Learn more about how to measure the true value of your content by downloading this free white paper from

This piece was originally published in Spiny Trends and is republished with permission. Spiny Trends is a division of, a content analytics and revenue generation platform for digital publishers. For the weekly industry news updates and analysis you need as a media and publishing company, subscribe to Spiny’s Trends weekly email roundup here.

By Peter Houston

Peter Houston is the co-host of the Media Voices Podcast. He is a writer, consultant and trainer working to help publishers build a sustainable multi-platform future. He has taught Guardian masterclasses, spoken at Google’s ThinkPublishing conference and is a judge on several magazine awards. He has written about media for The New Statesman, The Drum, FIPP, InPublishing, and Publishing Executive, and researched and authored State of the Media, 2017 for The Media Briefing.