Are Software Companies in a Social Media Bubble?

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Software companies are known for explosive growth. On social media, that stereotype holds true: Fortune 500 software brands blow all other major B2B industries out of the water in online audience growth.

Just take a look at the graph below, which plots the average follower growth, average engagement ratio, and median social media audience size for B2B companies by industry.

Brands in the software, machinery, engineering, biotech, and financial services industries lead the B2B pack in terms of social media follower growth (y-axis). Across 2015, the average Fortune 500 software brand grew its total social media followers by a whopping 82 percent.

But when it comes to social media engagement (x-axis), brands in the software business are the lowest performers. The average software company has a social media engagement rate of only 2.62. That’s lower than the engagement rate of all 16 other major B2B industries on social media.

Software companies have the highest average follower growth on social media among major B2B industries, but the worst social media engagement.

Is buzz attracting followers to big software brands without the content to back it up? From an industry-wide view, the data says yes. But there are exceptions: tech titans like IBM, Microsoft, and HP lead the industry in engagement on Instagram.

We’ve got much more about the social media trends from the best B2B brands on social in our 2016 Social Media Impact Report: B2B Industry Edition. Grab a free copy to learn more!