Advertising Audience Engagement
3 mins read

95% ad views are on mobile, Instagram crushes Facebook in engagement, and other insights from Socialbakers’ report

Socialbakers has released its Must-Know Social Media Trends report for Q2 2019, reflecting the current state of the social media landscape, and highlighting changes in ad budget distribution as audience engagement across social media changes. 

The report also shows Facebook News Feed taking up the majority of marketing ad spend and the continued surge in influencer marketing, with the use of #ad growing by 33%.

Key findings from the report:

  • More than 60% of all ad spend is still allocated to the Facebook News Feed despite marketers increasing their overall spend on Instagram. Over half of all ad spend is still allocated to this channel, with only 20% on Instagram Feed and 10% across Stories, Suggested Video, and Instream Video placements
  • Advertisements are seen on mobile devices a staggering 95.1% of the time, but viewed only 4.9% of the time on desktop. Mobile remains the most critical platform for brands.
  • The top 50 brands on Instagram now have the same audience size as the top 50 brands on Facebook, based on audience size for the top 50 business profiles on each platform – but the majority of the user engagement happens on Instagram
  • Posts using #Ad increased by 33% compared to Q2 2018, demonstrating that influencer marketing continues to surge. The report analysed 3 million+ influencer profiles
  • Carousel is the leading format for organic interactions, but is used only 15-18% of the time – based on 50,000 Instagram brand profiles

Audience sizes on Instagram catches up to Facebook, with Instagram generating higher engagement  

Audience size for Instagram and Facebook (measured by the number of followers on Instagram and Page likes on Facebook) was nearly identical for the top 50 business profiles analysed. 

This is a key milestone for Instagram and points to how critical the platform is becoming for brands. While the audience sizes are identical, the majority of the user engagement happens on Instagram. Instagram performs best for Fashion and Beauty while Facebook News Feed continues to lead for brands in Ecommerce and Retail.

Additionally, over the past year, Instagram’s interactions remained steady. Meanwhile, median interactions for Facebook posts are just -3.3% behind where they were in June 2018.

More than 60% of ad spend is allocated to Facebook News Feed

Although marketers have been increasing their spend on Instagram, more than 60% of all ad spend is still allocated to the Facebook News Feed. Instagram Feed comes in a distant second at 20%, and the rest of the top 5, including Instagram Stories, Facebook Suggested Video, and Facebook Instream Video combine for about 10%.

The Socialbakers report also shows that around 30% of paid ad spend is being invested in non-performing content that earns a C or D on post quality (an average to below-average score determined by the Socialbakers AI).

While MarTech and AI are helping businesses better invest their budgets into the most appropriate content – the Socialbakers AI scored 62% of posts as an A+ or A, indicating that there’s still room for improvement. With the inundation of data and lack of direction, it’s important to have a tool to help choose the best path forward and avoid unnecessary budget waste.

Missed opportunities for organic impressions 

Based on nearly 50,000 Instagram brand profiles, Carousel is the leading format for organic interactions, at more than 120 per post. Yet, Carousel is used only 15-18% of the time. Similarly, based on more than 140,000 Facebook brand profiles, Live is by far the platform’s leader in interactions, but is utilised in only 4% of posts.

The data indicates that by utilising a more popular format, brands can avoid wasting resources on posts that won’t resonate with their audiences. As the numbers demonstrate, there is ample untapped potential with Instagram Carousel and Facebook Live. This represents an easy opportunity for marketers to boost their content engagement.

Influencer collaborations gain momentum, use of #Ad grows a healthy 33%

The number of Instagram influencers affiliated with brands who made posts using #Ad increased by 33% in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018. It’s a giant leap and doesn’t take into account the influencers who are required to, but sometimes don’t, include #Ad on sponsored posts.

More than ever, it is critical for brands to use data-driven insights to build smarter social media strategies that capitalise on the latest trends and opportunities.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Socialbakers CEO

The complete Socialbakers Must-Know Social Media Q2 2019 Trends Report is available for download here.

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