Social media is everywhere and over the last two decades, it’s become one of the primary marketing channels.
With a solid chunk of the world’s population on social media, it’s critical that your business has an effective social media strategy that helps you reach your intended audience.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of essential social media stats to ensure you know where to focus your marketing efforts in 2022 to get the highest ROI.
Social Media Marketing Report Statistics from HubSpot
In November 2021, the HubSpot Blog surveyed 300+ social media marketers to learn about the strategies they use, the formats they leverage, and the challenges they face.
Here are some of the most interesting stats we discovered:
- 77% of social media marketers say social media marketing has been somewhat to very effective for their company this year.
- What’s more, 37% of marketers who said social media marketing was somewhat to very ineffective cited COVID-19, likely due to the rapid change in strategy.
- The numer one goal marketers report having for their social media marketing strategy is advertising their products or services, following by increasing brand awareness.
- 82% of marketers say they repurpose content across social media channels.
- The majority of marketers surveyed say they post on most social media platforms four to six times a week.
- The platforms with the lowest reported engagement levels are Twitch, Snapchat, and Clubhouse.
- Short-form videos is the top social media format used by 54% of social media marketers, followed by live streaming, live audio chatrooms, and user-generated content.
- 80% of marketers say funny content is the most effective on social media.
- 68% of marketers’ companies work with influencers on social media.
- The most popular cadence to search for new social media platforms is once a month, followed by once a week.
- 84% of marketers target Millennials as part of their social media strategy.
- The biggest challenge marketers face on social media is creating engaging content, reported by 27% of respondents.
- 67% of marketers say they work with micro influencers with 10K-100K followers or subscribers. Conversely, only 29% say they work with mega influencers with more than 1 million followers.
- 64% of marketers say they invest in building social media communities.
- 25% of respondents said they believe funny content is most effective with Gen Z.
Channel-Specific Social Media Statistics
- In a 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 79% of marketers report buying paid advertising on Facebook. (HubSpot)
- Users spend an average of 19.6 hours a month on Facebook. (HootSuite)
- Facebook is a popular source of news with 31% of Americans regularly getting their news from the platform. (Pew Research)
- According to the same poll, more than 50% of marketers plan on increasing their investments in Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok in 2022. (HubSpot)
- Facebook has 1.96 billion daily active users as of Q1 2022. (Statista)
- 98.5% of Facebook users access the platform on mobile devices. (Statista)
- In a 2021 survey conducted by the HubSpot Blog, Facebook was ranked #1 in social media investment, highest quality leads, and ROI for paid ads. (HubSpot)
- Facebook ads are used by 70% of marketers, and there were 10 million active advertisers on the platform in Q3 2021. (Social Media Examiner , Statista)
- Twitter has reached 229 million daily active users as of the first quarter of 2022. (Statista)
- In a HubSpot Blog poll, 79% of marketers plan to continue investing in Twitter Spaces in 2022. (HubSpot)
- Link clicks account for 92% of all user interaction with tweets. (HubSpot)
- The best time to post on Twitter is at 9 AM, and the best days to post are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. (Sprout Social)
- Tweets with hashtags get 100% more engagement. (Twitter)
- 99% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll say they plan to continue to invest the same amount or increase their investment in Twitter. (HubSpot)
- 93% of Twitter community members are open to brands getting involved in conversation, such as providing help and support. (Twitter)
For more on Twitter, check out Twitter Marketing: The Ultimate Guide.
- In a 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 58% of marketers plan to leverage Instagram Reels in 2022. (HubSpot)
- 64% of Instagram users are under the age of 34. (Statista)
- 20% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll report generating the biggest ROI when working with influencers on Instagram, only behind Facebook. (HubSpot)
- 98% of marketers say Instagram is the most influential platform for influencer marketing, which is 44% higher than Facebook. (Sprout Social)
- Videos get 21.2% more interactions compared to images and 18.6% more interactions compared to carousels. (Sprout Social)
- 61% of social media marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll say they plan to increase their investment in 2022.
- 90% of people on Instagram follow a business. (Instagram)
- In a 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 73% of marketers prefer Instagram for influencer marketing. (HubSpot)
- The best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11 AM, and Friday between 10-11 AM. Sunday is the worst day for engagement. (Sprout Social)
Check out more Instagram stats here.
- LinkedIn has more than 830 million active users in 200 countries and regions worldwide. (LinkedIn)
- The most popular day to post on LinkedIn is on Saturdays and Sundays. (HubSpot)
- According to a HubSpot Blog survey, most marketers post on LinkedIn four to six times a week. (HubSpot)
- When it comes to B2B display ad spend, LinkedIn makes up the largest share at 32.2%. (eMarketer)
- As of January 2022, 59% of LinkedIn users were between 25 and 34 years old. (Statista)
- In Q3 2022, LinkedIn revenue is up 34% in YoY growth. (LinkedIn)
- 87% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog survey said LinkedIn offered average or high ROI. (HubSpot)
- 82% of B2B markers report finding the greatest success on LinkedIn. (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions)
- Over 46% of all social media traffic to company websites comes from LinkedIn. (LinkedIn)
- 40% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog survey say they plan to increase their investment in the platform in 2022. (HubSpot)
- The best times to post on LinkedIn are on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The worst days are on weekends – with Saturdays and Sundays offering the lowest engagement levels.(Sprout Social)
Want to learn how to up your marketing game on LinkedIn? This post walks you through the ins and outs of using LinkedIn for business.
- YouTube is the second-largest search engine globally. (Alexa)
- YouTube generates over 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors. (Hootsuite)
- 42.5% of marketers use YouTube for influencer marketing, according to a 2021 eMarketer report. (eMarketer)
- 50% of social media marketers surveyed by the HubSpot Blog say they plan to increase their investment in YouTube in 2022. In fact, 20% of respondents say they plan to invest in this platform the most. (HubSpot)
- The number of YouTube users is projected to reach 2.8 million by 2025. (Statista)
- In a 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 44% of marketers plan to leverage YouTube for the first time in 2022. (HubSpot)
- On mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more adults aged 18 to 24 than any TV network. (YouTube)
- YouTube accounts for more than 25% of total worldwide mobile traffic. (Sandvine)
- Users spend the most hours on YouTube than any other social network at 23.7 hours a month. (HootSuite)
- 70% of TikTok users agree they feel a deeper connection to people they interact with on TikTok compared to other social networks. (TikTok)
- In a 2021 HubSpot Blog poll, 61% of marketers plan to increase their investment in TikTok marketing in 2022. (HubSpot)
- Douyin, TikTok’s original standalone app in China, had 300 million users at the time Musical.ly merged with TikTok. (The Verge)
- Two out of three users are likely to buy something on TikTok while using the app. (TikTok)
- TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021. (HootSuite)
- 61% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll say they plan to increase their investment in TikTok in 2022. (HubSpot)
- 12% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll say they work with influencers the most on TikTok. (HubSpot)
- A majority of U.S. TikTok users are between the ages of 10 and 19. (Statista)
- Globally, users spend an average of 19.6 hours a month on TikTok on android phones. (HootSuite)
- 61% of U.S. TikTok users are female. (Statista)
- The most popular time to post on TikTok is between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. (HubSpot)
- TikTok’s average engagement rate is high at all follower levels. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
Reddit Statistics (65)
- As of Q3 2021, the Reddit mobile app was counting more than 13 million daily active users worldwide on iOS. (Statista)
- 50% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll plan to increase their investment in Reddit. (HubSpot)
- The site receives more than 50 billion+ monthly screen views. (Reddit)
- 23% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll plan to leverage Reddit for the first time in 2022. (HubSpot)
- Most Reddit users in the U.S. are male, but 15% of U.S. adults say they use the platform. (Statista)
- Only 2% of social media marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog plan to invest in Reddit the most in 2022. (HubSpot)
- 49% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll buy paid ads on Reddit. (HubSpot)
- Reddit is an unlikely place for influencer marketing but 38% of marketers surveyed in a HubSpot Blog poll say they work with influencers on the platform. (HubSpot)
Social Media Consulting Services
Many businesses hire external social media consulting agencies to manage their voice and reputation online.
Alternatively, some businesses create roles in-house for a social media consultant — this is someone who is responsible for increasing brand awareness, responding to customer service complaints across social media platforms, and engaging with your audience online.
Whether you’re considering hiring an external social media consulting service or creating a role in-house, take a look at these trends that demonstrate the importance of social media consulting:
- Answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by 25%. (Convince & Convert)
- 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out over social media, but average brand response rates across all industries is lower than 25%. (Sprout Social)
- 79% of people say that user-generated content on social media significantly impacts their purchasing decisions. (Stackla)
Pitching Social Media Consulting Services
All these stats have given you the data you need to work with — now it’s time to put your knowledge to use and create your own social media consulting proposal.
If you’re a social media consultant and you’re pitchinga branding, marketing, or advertising campaign to a client, it’s critical you’re able to show how you’ll help your client grow their business.
Here are six steps you’ll need to take to ensure your social media consulting proposal or business plan is effective:
- Set clear goals. Figure out exactly where your company or client wants to go as far as their business and social media numbers. The clearer and more detailed the vision, the better. Follow SMART Goal guidelines to ensure that you’re on the right track.
- Understand your customers. Know your target demographics because these are the people you’re trying to reach and engage. Gather your own social media statistics and use existing data your company or client might already have to figure out who’s interacting with the business and who might be good future prospects to reach. After you’ve done your research, you can create useful character personas to help you better understand and categorize customers.
- Understand your competition. Those “similar-but-different” companies are going to be out there. And, as with most aspects of the business world, the better you know them, the better you can know how to have a leg up on them. You can conduct this research at the same time you’re researching your customers, because chances are they’re interacting with competitors as well. Once you’ve gathered the data on your competitors, one of the most effective ways to use it is to figure out where there might be voids in their services that your business can fill.
- Be familiar with any existing social media presence. If you’re hired to run a company’s social media accounts, it’s critical you know about any previous social media postings, accounts, and experiments. By understanding what your client has already tried, you’re better equipped to take them where they need to go in the future.
- Don’t forget to pull your data. Before your new implemented strategies go underway, it’s important to collect a baseline of how it was before, so that you have something to measure against in the future. For example, if you take inventory of how many views you’re getting on Instagram Stories before the new strategy is in effect, you can see if the new ideas are improving these numbers or not. It’s important to keep a close eye on what is affecting your growth (positively or negatively) so that you know when you’re on the right track or when you need to try something new so your business can keep growing.
- Develop your strategy based on your findings. Define what your content will be, what platforms it will be distributed on, and how it will vary between platforms. Figure out smaller details at this stage too, like your client’s tone and voice on social media (either what it currently is or what it should be), along with design and style elements. Always be sure you’re staying true to your company or client’s brand by consulting with existing materials like mission statements, guides, or brand books.
Finally, take a look at HubSpot’s free Marketing proposal template (useful for both PDF & Word) to get you started creating a comprehensive social media consulting proposal.
Let Data Drive Your Social Media Strategy
Social media marketing statistics can show you the state of the business world today, where it might be going, and how you can ensure your business is continuously meeting customers where they want to be met. Use these statistics to your advantage to help you understand what you need to do to effectively use social media for your business today.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2019, but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.
OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons
A week or so ago, the extraordinary drama happening at OpenAI filled news feeds.
No need to get into all the saga’s details, as every publication seems to have covered it. We’re just waiting for someone to put together a video montage scored to the Game of Thrones music.
But as Sam Altman takes back the reigns of the company he helped to found, the existing board begins to disintegrate before your very eyes, and everyone agrees something spooked everybody, a question arises: Should you care?
Does OpenAI’s drama have any demonstrable implications for marketers integrating generative AI into their marketing strategies?
Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain (and give a shoutout to Sutton’s pants rage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), or keep reading his thoughts:
For those who spent last week figuring out what to put on your holiday table and missed every AI headline, here’s a brief version of what happened. OpenAI – the huge startup and creator of ChatGPT – went through dramatic events. Its board fired the mercurial CEO Sam Altman. Then, the 38-year-old entrepreneur accepted a job at Microsoft but returned to OpenAI a day later.
We won’t give a hot take on what it means for the startup world, board governance, or the tension between AI safety and Silicon Valley capitalism. Rather, we see some interesting things for marketers to put into perspective about how AI should fit into your overall content and marketing plans in the new year.
Robert highlights two takeaways from the OpenAI debacle – a drama that has yet to reach its final chapter: 1. The right structure and governance matters, and 2. Big platforms don’t become antifragile just because they’re big.
Let’s have Robert explain.
The right structure and governance matters
OpenAI’s structure may be key to the drama. OpenAI has a bizarre corporate governance framework. The board of directors controls a nonprofit called OpenAI. That nonprofit created a capped for-profit subsidiary – OpenAI GP LLC. The majority owner of that for-profit is OpenAI Global LLC, another for-profit company. The nonprofit works for the benefit of the world with a for-profit arm.
That seems like an earnest approach, given AI tech’s big and disruptive power. But it provides so many weird governance issues, including that the nonprofit board, which controls everything, has no duty to maximize profit. What could go wrong?
That’s why marketers should know more about the organizations behind the generative AI tools they use or are considering.
First, know your providers of generative AI software and services are all exploring the topics of governance and safety. Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, and others won’t have their internal debates erupt in public fireworks. Still, governance and management of safety over profits remains a big topic for them. You should be aware of how they approach those topics as you license solutions from them.
Second, recognize the productive use of generative AI is a content strategy and governance challenge, not a technology challenge. If you don’t solve the governance and cross-functional uses of the generative AI platforms you buy, you will run into big problems with its cross-functional, cross-siloed use.
Big platforms do not become antifragile just because they’re big
Nicholas Taleb wrote a wonderful book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. It explores how an antifragile structure doesn’t just withstand a shock; it actually improves because of a disruption or shock. It doesn’t just survive a big disruptive event; it gets stronger because of it.
It’s hard to imagine a company the size and scale of OpenAI could self-correct or even disappear tomorrow. But it can and does happen. And unfortunately, too many businesses build their strategies on that rented land.
In OpenAI’s recent case, the for-profit software won the day. But make no bones about that victory; the event wasn’t good for the company. If it bounces back, it won’t be stronger because of the debacle.
With that win on the for-profit side, hundreds, if not thousands, of generative AI startups breathed an audible sigh of relief. But a few moments later, they screamed “pivot” (in their best imitation of Ross from Friends instructing Chandler and Rachel to move a couch.)
They now realize the fragility of their software because it relies on OpenAI’s existence or willingness to provide the software. Imagine what could have happened if the OpenAI board had won their fight and, in the name of safety, simply killed any paid access to the API or the ability to build business models on top of it.
The last two weeks have done nothing to clear the already muddy waters encountered by companies and their plans to integrate generative AI solutions. Going forward, though, think about the issues when acquiring new generative AI software. Ask about how the vendor’s infrastructure is housed and identify the risks involved. And, if OpenAI expands its enterprise capabilities, consider the implications. What extra features will the off-the-shelf solutions provide? Do you need them? Will OpenAI become the Microsoft Office of your AI infrastructure?
Why you should care
With the voluminous media coverage of Open AI’s drama, you likely will see pushback on generative AI. In my social feeds, many marketers say they’re tired of the corporate soap opera that is irrelevant to their work.
They are half right. What Sam said and how Ilya responded, heart emojis, and how much the Twitch guy got for three days of work are fodder for the Netflix series sure to emerge. (Robert’s money is on Michael Cera starring.)
They’re wrong about its relevance to marketing. They must be experiencing attentional bias – paying more attention to some elements of the big event and ignoring others. OpenAI’s struggle is entertaining, no doubt. You’re glued to the drama. But understanding what happened with the events directly relates to your ability to manage similar ones successfully. That’s the part you need to get right.
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:
The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader
Introduce your processes: If you’ve streamlined a particular process, share it. It could be the solution someone else is looking for.
Jump on trends and news: If there’s a hot topic or emerging trend, offer your unique perspective.
Share industry insights: Attended a webinar or podcast that offered valuable insights. Summarize the key takeaways and how they can be applied.
Share your successes: Write about strategies that have worked exceptionally well for you. Your audience will appreciate the proven advice. For example, I shared the process I used to help a former client rank for a keyword with over 2.2 million monthly searches.
Question outdated strategies: If you see a strategy that’s losing steam, suggest alternatives based on your experience and data.
5. Establish communication channels (How)
Once you know who your audience is and what they want to hear, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Here’s how:
Choose the right platforms: You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. Pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and create content for that platform. For example, I’m active on LinkedIn and X because my target audience (SEOs, B2B SaaS, and marketers) is active on these platforms.
Repurpose content: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of content. Consider repurposing your content on Quora, Reddit, or even in webinars and podcasts. This increases your reach and reinforces your message.
Follow Your audience: Go where your audience goes. If they’re active on X, that’s where you should be posting. If they frequent industry webinars, consider becoming a guest on these webinars.
Daily vs. In-depth content: Balance is key. Use social media for daily tips and insights, and reserve your blog for more comprehensive guides and articles.
Network with influencers: Your audience is likely following other experts in the field. Engaging with these influencers puts your content in front of a like-minded audience. I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour daily engaging with content on X and LinkedIn. This is the best way to build a relationship so you’re not a complete stranger when you DM privately.
6. Think of thought leadership as part of your content marketing efforts
As with other content efforts, thought leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It thrives when woven into a cohesive content marketing strategy. By aligning individual authority with your brand, you amplify the credibility of both.
Think of it as top-of-the-funnel content to:
Build awareness about your brand
Highlight the problems you solve
Demonstrate expertise by platforming experts within the company who deliver solutions
Consider the user journey. An individual enters at the top through a social media post, podcast, or blog post. Intrigued, they want to learn more about you and either search your name on Google or social media. If they like what they see, they might visit your website, and if the information fits their needs, they move from passive readers to active prospects in your sales pipeline.
How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips
Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.
I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.
My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.
Why Measure Survey Completion
Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.
They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.
Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.
But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.
With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:
- Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
- Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
- Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
- Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.
The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)
Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.
CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!
Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.
So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.
So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.
We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”
And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.
What is survey completion rate?
Survey completion rate refers to the number of completed surveys divided by the number of total survey respondents. The result is then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. Survey respondents include those who completed the survey, and those who started the survey but didn’t complete it.
While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.
Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:
So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).
Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.
Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.
3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:
Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.
Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%
Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.
Response Rate vs. Completion Rate
Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.
- Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
- Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out
Here are examples using the same numbers from above:
Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%
Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%
So, they are different figures that describe different things:
- Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
- Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.
The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?
There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!
What’s a good survey completion rate?
That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.
There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.
But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.
So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.
I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:
“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]
Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”
The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.
“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”
Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:
The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.
A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”
This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.
If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.
According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.
Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?
Tips to Increase Survey Completion
If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.
1. Keep your survey brief.
We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.
Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.
Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.
“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.
2. Give your customers an incentive.
For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.
Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.
This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.
3. Keep it smooth and easy.
Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.
4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.
Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.
Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.
“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.
Tip 5. Gamify your survey.
Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.
Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!
Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates
Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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