6 Insights You Need To Know About Streaming Brands On Social Media

TikTok has become the social network generating the most engagement for streaming brands in 2021.

Streaming services may hold viewership numbers as a closely guarded secret, but when it comes to understanding performance on social media, ListenFirst has an objective view of which streaming brands are succeeding and why. From our internal study of Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime and Starz, here are the 6 insights you need to know about streaming brands and social media.   

#1. Fan Growth in 2021 has slowed for streaming brands 

Streaming BrandNew Fans
Jan – Aug 2018
New Fans 
Jan – Aug 2019
New Fans
Jan – Aug 2020
New Fans
Jan – Aug 2021
Netflix15,974,23317,686,19817,278,64312,975,618
Disney+945,0662,986,7212,606,911
Apple TV+2,4538,80634,235
HBO679,5382,334,240809,106376,989
HBO Max931,3402,063,760
Hulu552,231559,670511,737509,917
Peacock220,687615,798
Amazon Prime Video621,1236,349,3172,703,6911,855,889
Showtime236,788141,654131,181173,465
Starz223,373143,645215,953173,009
Total18,287,28628,162,24325,797,86521,385,591

Looking at the streaming brands between January – August 2021, the number of new fans they generated on social media decreased by -17% compared to January – August 2020, and decreased by -24% compared to January – August 2019. 

What’s happening is while streaming brands are still growing their audience on social media, the rate of growth, which peaked in 2019, has slowed as the streaming video space becomes more crowded. For example, while Netflix got nearly 13 million new fans on social media between January – August 2021, with newer services like Peacock and HBO Max now in the space, that’s still 4.7 million less new fans than Netflix got in the same time period in 2019. 

Additionally, emerging social platforms such as TikTok and Depop are likely eating away at the traditional social channels, especially among younger users, likely contributing to the significant decrease in growth this year. Streaming brands have to experiment with establishing a presence on these newer platforms, to keep pace with shifting audience preferences. 

#2. TikTok Has Become The Most Important Platform For Content Responses 

Streaming brands got 59% of their content responses on TikTok between January – August 2021, with 33% of their responses coming from content they posted on Instagram. Meanwhile during those 8 months, 3% of responses for streaming brands came from Facebook, 3% from YouTube, and 2% from Twitter. For streaming services looking to lift their social engagement, treating TikTok as a focal point is an absolute must. 

Is the popularity of TikTok leading to streamers getting less engagement on other social media platforms? Possibly, but not in the way you’d necessarily expect.  Comparing January – August in 2021 to 2020, the number of responses for streaming brands increased by 27% on YouTube. However, during the same time streaming brands got -7% responses on Twitter, -5% responses on Facebook, and -2% responses on Instagram.      

Even as audience preferences around social networks evolve over time, video-first platforms like YouTube will continue to be strategically important for streaming brands.  

#3. The Audience Was Most Interested In Binging During The Beginning Of The Pandemic 

When people were stuck at home quarantining with nothing else to do, it appeared that binging TV shows was never more popular. But was that level of interest sustainable? 

Based on Twitter audience data, the answer is no. During Q1 2020 there were 1,190,036 Binge related Tweets which was a 24% increase compared to the previous quarter. In Q2 2020 that number even rose to 1,356,841 Binge related Tweets. However in the 4 subsequent quarters, there were on average -20% less Binge related Tweets compared to that Q2 2020 peak. 

The long term trend remains that the social audience is talking more and more about streaming TV shows in binge mode. However, now that the majority of adults are vaccinated and have more options with what to do with their time, in the short term, the audience interest in binging has actually decreased.   

#4. Shifting to releasing episodic programs weekly can help on social 

Netflix has long been synonymous with the binge release model, which they first popularized in 2013 when they released the entire first season of House of Cards at once. However, even Netflix is now experimenting with different release models, for instance releasing reality shows like The Circle and Too Hot to Handle in batches

The reason for the return to weekly episodes for streamers is largely to extend the social media conversation around their shows.  For example, ​​The Boys switched from a binge release in Season 1 to episodic weekly releases in Season 2, which helped the longevity of its social engagement and interest.  Season 2 didn’t see peaks in engagement until the finale, while interest popped at both premiere and finale. 

Meanwhile, The Mandalorian changed it’s release schedule to alternating between Wednesdays and Fridays to every Friday, leading to a higher conversation volume in Season 2 per episode despite overall interest remaining lower than Season 1. 

How do you know when a streaming show is better off coming out at once or weekly? Content that lends itself to being dissected, such as reality competitions, or regularly recapped on entertainment websites, should be released on a weekly cadence. After all, audiences would have more to reflect on in social media. 

#5.  Frequently posting about large IP’s consistently drives engagement

For streaming brands, leaning into intellectual property that’s already familiar and has a pre-existing fanbase is a proven strategy for lifting social media engagement. For example, 4 out of the 5 most shared HBO Max posts so far in 2021 were about either the Friends reunion or Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video’s two most shared posts between January – August 2021 were Facebook and TikTok videos promoting Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, based on the novel set in Clancy’s Ryanverse. 

#6. Foreign Language Content Now Among Most Popular Content For Streamers 

Streaming brands now produce original programming for local regions across the world and a lot of those shows are clearly connecting with the English language audience on social media as well. For instance, Netflix’s top post in April 2020 with 1,917,159 responses was an Instagram post featuring Úrsula Corberó using a filter that matches her with a character on Money Heist. Additional foreign content shows such as Dark and Elite are also among the most buzzed programs for Netflix on social media. 

For streaming brands with popular foreign language originals, give the English speaking audience the benefit of the doubt that they’ll also embrace those shows on social media. 

Looking for more insights about streaming brands on social media? Request a ListenFirst Demo today! 

3 Steps to Effectively Measure Your Social Media Efforts

According to the 2020 CMO Survey, only 30% of CMOs believed they could prove the impact of social media efforts quantitatively.

So if you find it challenging to prove the value of your social media campaigns, you’re not alone. The key to successfully measuring the impact of your social media efforts hinges on leveraging social media analytics.

At ListenFirst we’ve helped leading brands across the world determine their most relevant KPIs. We’ve learned a thing or two over the years and have a few tips to get you on the right track.

There are three critical steps to ensuring you have the right elements in place to measure your social media marketing program effectively. You’ll find the steps below, along with tips to get you started. 

Identify the metrics that align with your business goals.

When it comes to setting KPIs that will have an impact, less is more. 

Start with your business goals. How do those translate into social metrics or outcomes? For example:

  • Do you want to grow awareness? Consider metrics related to audience growth. 
  • Are you set on increasing brand affinity and loyalty? Review engagement rates. 
  • Is brand love your focus? Look at social sentiment.

Follow a thoughtful process when determining the metrics that are important to your business. 

Use social media analytics to set realistic benchmarks.

It’s critical to outline your goals and do industry research prior to determining the most logical KPIs for your brand. 

Of course, you want to look at historical trends for your brand as well as for your competitors. But there’s also a lot to gain from reviewing other aspirational brands who’ve accomplished what you are after. Even if the brand is not a player in your industry, validate that what they’re doing is something that may have translated to their success. 

Then ask yourself what’s a reasonable expectation for your brand based on the historical data and performance across other brands?

Download our report How to Maximize Social Media Analytics for more details on how to identify the metrics that matter. 

Track your KPIs frequently

Reporting is key. Once you have your KPIs set, you have to constantly track them. 

Reporting that allows you to see all of your cross-channel data in one view is essential. You’ll also want to set up reporting that will allow you to see the most important metrics, including your benchmarks and historical trends, at a glance.

Dashboards are a great way to communicate the story the data is telling to your key stakeholders. ListenFirst recently added configurable dashboards to the platform, giving users the opportunity to build a series of dashboards to best match their team’s goals.

Read more about configurable dashboards.  

If you’re like most brands and increasing your investments in social media, be sure you have a plan in place to know if you’re moving the dial. Follow these three important steps and let us know how we can help along the way.

Dashboards, Machine Learning and Modern Design

Over the last year the ListenFirst team has taken a deep look at user workflows and closely collaborated with customers to understand their biggest needs. As a result, we’ve invested in many enhancements that will help users save time and uncover more relevant insights in fewer steps.  

Starting in September 2021, ListenFirst users will have access to a new platform experience. Notable features now available in the new ListenFirst experience include the ability to:

  • quickly find the data you need
  • build configurable dashboards
  • uncover key takeaways automatically
  • create brand roll-ups on the fly
  • dive into the analytics and share meaningful visuals quickly

We breakdown our most exciting enhancements below.

Configurable Dashboards

Enjoy more flexibility by creating easy-to-update dashboards tailored to your KPIs.

When you first log in to your ListenFirst account, you’ll get a quick glimpse at the performance metrics most important to you. Configurable Dashboards make this all possible. Our new dashboard feature allows customers to create specific combinations of ListenFirst data to match their team’s unique use cases and workflows. 

It’s easy to add an analysis tile to your favorite dashboard, or to multiple dashboards. It’s your choice. From there you have easy-to-understand, beautiful reports to share with other ListenFirst users.

You’re in Control with Instant Insights

Quickly understand how your brand performs on social media using simple visuals and easy-to-understand language.

Tired of burning precious hours attempting the work of a trained data analyst? Instant Insights, is a new analytics feature that quickly shows how brands perform across social media. It’s all in a single view! 

Leveraging years of intelligence gathered from working with the largest brands in the world, Instant Insights utilizes machine learning to deliver analysis like no other. Users can benchmark performance and uncover valuable takeaways in natural language. Even configure multiple brands and content filters on the fly. 

A Modern and User-Friendly Design

Introducing a complete re-imagining and redesign of navigation, data visualization, and analysis in the platform.   

We worked hand-in-hand with ListenFirst customers to ensure the new interface would provide easy access to the data needed most. This resulted in a more streamlined workflow paired with modern design. Save time with more intuitive navigation, clean data visuals and more ways to share key metrics and insightful takeaways with others.

Experience the Enhancements for Yourself

Throughout the month of September, users will be given the opportunity to switch between the new and legacy UI. So, the next time you log into your ListenFirst account, look for the toggle button at the top right.

Don’t be shy. Dive into the upgraded experience for more flexibility, faster insights and access to powerful dashboards. New feature walk-thrus will be available as you explore the platform, but for a deeper understanding of the new workflows, check out the knowledge base dedicated to the Platform Redesign found in the Help Center. 

Is your brand ready for the privacy policy changes ahead?

Create a relevant advertising strategy as technologies ramp up consumer privacy controls

With new changes sweeping the martech industry, it’s no wonder brands are struggling to understand what it means for their future marketing strategy. 

First, it was Google. Now it’s Apple. 

Brands are announcing significant changes to their end-user experience. These are changes that will limit advertisers who are retargeting ads or collecting consumer data to manage their digital marketing campaigns.

The Fate Of Digital Advertising

While the fate of some common advertising tactics remain unclear, there are still many avenues that can drive strong returns for savvy digital  marketers.  

Hear what Jason Klein, co-founder of ListenFirst, had to say on the topic. In Jason’s LinkedIn post, he shares a few tips to help brands reach their ideal audience today and in the future.

Discover Jason’s tips.

The Value of Measuring an Active Engager vs. Passive Observer

All brands are looking to spark social engagement. But inspiring consumers to comment or share your brand with their network takes thoughtful planning. Meaningful audience engagement goes beyond a simple “like,” so you need to know what content gets people talking. 

Social Media Analytics Across Channels

Measuring impressions, video views, and likes are too passive when you want to understand how well your content has connected with an audience. Afterall, you could trigger an impression or a video view simply because it’s served to your newsfeed. Many people “like” so thoughtlessly when they’re scrolling that one million “likes” doesn’t mean one million people are truly interested in your brand.

If getting consumers to comment, share and reply to your content is what you are aiming at, you need a way to measure those types of social engagements across all major social channels. When a person shares your post on Facebook or comments on Twitter, you know that person saw something about your brand and was motivated to take action. It means that person stopped scrolling to talk about your content or share it with their friends or followers. That’s something!

Introducing Social Talkability

At ListenFirst, we unite billions of social signals across every social platform. Using our unique access to this data we’ve introduced a new way to measure meaningful engagements — in one comprehensive score. Social Talkability, is our new proprietary metric that provides brands with the number of social actions that are deemed intentful. 

Your “Talkability” score counts comments, shares and replies across all major social channels, along with user-generated content. It compiles data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and TikTok.

The Social Talkability score helps brands see the full picture. 
See how cross-channel social engagements took off for Netflix and Apple during pivotal campaigns.


Bridgerton premiered on Netflix on Dec. 25, 2020. That day Bridgerton got 13,385 “likes” per Instagram post. That’s almost 1,000 less “likes” than they got per post the day before. But when looking across social channels and counting the more active engagements, Netflix can see the show did get audiences buzzing on premiere day. Social Talkability was lifted 787% from Dec. 24 to Dec. 25.
April 20, 2021 was a big day for Apple as they introduced new products and updates to the market. However, they only averaged 64,032 reactions per social media post on that day. (Between January 1- April 19, 2021, Apple averaged 134,790 reactions per post.) When looking at the Social Talkability metric, Apple can see that there was, in fact, a lift in comments, shares and replies across channels, despite the drop in reactions in general. Talkability was up 213% on April 20, compared to April 19.

Get Your Social Talkability Score Today

ListenFirst customers can access this metric today in the Brand Rankings tab and in the Time Window Comparison report. 

If you are not yet a ListenFirst user, contact the ListenFirst team to request a demo.

Share of Voice – How to Measure and Increase vs Industry Competitors

Watch this webinar to learn how to measure Share of Voice (SOV), a cornerstone metric that helps you understand your brand’s health and awareness in the market as it relates to your competition.

SOV gives you the overall positioning of your brand at a high level and, when done well, it also provides the details at an individual campaign, product, or release level – across all social channels. This insight is invaluable when determining performance and strategy going forward.