New Social Media Report: Journalists, Entertainers Only Care About 6% of Their Fans

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Sprout Social finds that despite higher consumer demand for engagement from media, entertainment brands, industry response rate is below average.

The media and entertainment industries get away with this pathetic response rate because, unlike expectations with other industries, people don’t necessarily expect a response from their favorite celebrities, TV shows or sports teams - Scott Brandt, CMO

As Hollywood focuses on the red carpets of awards season, it’s ignoring its audience in a rather dramatic way. New data from Sprout Social reveals that while people are reaching out to media and entertainment brands in record numbers, the industry as a whole chooses to stay behind a velvet rope.

The latest edition of The Sprout Social Index uncovers that media and entertainment is an outlier on social media in almost every way. Most notably, brands in this category receive 3 times more fan messages than average—but ignore their audiences 94 percent of the time. The reality is that the media and entertainment industry, which includes journalists and DJs as well as cinema and sports, simply plays by its own rules. While fan engagement is increasingly critical and social tie-ins cross marketing channels, the industry still pushes out a staggering amount of strictly promotional messages with little regard for audiences’ questions, concerns and requests.

“The media and entertainment industries get away with this pathetic response rate because, unlike expectations with other industries, people don’t necessarily expect a response from their favorite celebrities, TV shows or sports teams,” said Scott Brandt, CMO of Sprout Social. “Rather than simply meeting those low expectations, the industry players and the many agencies that support them have an opportunity to raise their game, surprise their audiences and set themselves apart by actually participating in a two-way dialogue with people on social. In time, they’ll be rewarded with deeper relationships across their already-loyal audiences.”

Outside of the just the media and entertainment industry, The Q1 2016 Sprout Social Index dives into data among 14 other key industries and showcases marked transformations in the way people are using social and brands’ reluctance to change along with them. Noteworthy takeaways, include:

  • People are changing the way they use social. In 2013, only 15 percent of people’s social messages required a response; however, as people have started using social more frequently as a customer service channel, that number currently hovers around 40 percent. To put that in perspective, that means that each brand receives roughly 800 more messages that need a response every quarter.
  • Brands have ignored that change (and their customers). In 2013, 14 percent of social messages got a response from a brand; unfortunately, today that rate has dropped below 11 percent.
  • Social messages continue to spike. Across industries, there’s been a steady increase in incoming social messages to brands, from 1,790 in Q3 2013 up to 2,742 last quarter.
  • Brands with a lot of followers actually respond to their customers. Those brands with the largest audiences (more than 101,000) have the best ratio of promotional posts per replies (2.8-to-1), indicating that brands who actually interact with their audience can build and maintain a large follower base.
  • On Instagram, people are engaging but brands aren’t. Last quarter, brands received 115 percent more messages from their audiences on Instagram; however, brands only increased the messages they sent by 28 percent.

For more data and to download the full report, visit Sprout Social Insights.

The Sprout Social Index is a report compiled and released by Sprout Social. All referenced data is based on 173K public social profiles (95K Facebook; 78K Twitter) of continually active accounts between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. More than 1 billion messages sent and received during that time were analyzed for the purposes of this report. Some data may have shifted from the last Sprout Social Index report due to a shift in the social profiles analyzed; however, all overarching trends remain consistent. Industry classifications were based on LinkedIn industry categories. In some cases, closely related industries were merged into a single overarching industry. All messages analyzed that were considered casual mentions or not in need of a response were excluded from engagement, response rate and response time calculations with the intention of eliminating noise. Analysis of which messages required attention was done using Sprout’s proprietary technologies. Response time and response rate calculations were done using Sprout’s Engagement Reporting technology found in the Sprout Social product.

Sprout Social offers social media engagement, advocacy and analytics solutions for leading agencies and brands, including Anthropologie, GrubHub, Hyatt, Evernote and Zipcar. Available via web browser, iOS and Android apps, Sprout’s engagement platform enables brands to more effectively communicate on social channels, collaborate across teams and provide an exceptional customer experience. Bambu by Sprout Social, a platform for advocacy, empowers employees to share curated content across their social networks to further amplify a brand’s reach and engagement. Headquartered in Chicago, Sprout is a Twitter Official Partner, Facebook Marketing Partner, LinkedIn Company Page Partner and Google+ Pages API Partner. Learn more at and

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Jennifer Mulligan
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