Socialbakers, a leading AI-powered social media marketing platform, has released its 2019 social media trends report for industry professionals and brands who want to work smarter in social media to engage with audiences at scale. The comprehensive report offers detailed information about the state of social media engagement and advertising, as well as emerging themes for the year ahead. It dives into demographics and brand trends, advertising effectiveness, engagement best practices, and emerging trends involving influencer marketing and privacy and security.
In developing the comprehensive report, Socialbakers leveraged its social media data set, one of the largest in the industry. Data for the report was culled from more than 10 billion pieces of social media content generated by more than 17 million profiles. Socialbakers also has visibility into $3 billion of ad spend on social, which allows it to set industry benchmarks.
While the report examined multiple social media platforms, it found that marketers looking to drive value for their businesses via digital marketing can find more value in terms of scale and audience engagement from Facebook and its family of applications than they can from competing platforms. With 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook’s family of applications is still where most consumer-to-brand engagement happens online.
However, in terms of engagement per user, Instagram reigns supreme. Socialbakers' data found that while Instagram has a smaller total audience compared to Facebook, Instagram users are far more engaged than Facebook users. Instagram is becoming increasingly powerful as a platform for capturing quality engagement within small, targeted communities.
"Instagram is becoming the number one social media platform when it comes to engagement for brands," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of Socialbakers. "When we look at engagement on an absolute level, Instagram has a lot more engagement for brands than Facebook does, despite having a significantly smaller audience size. As a result, we see businesses leveraging Instagram for advertising more than ever before."
An average user spends over three hours per day consuming digital media on mobile -- a growth of nearly four times over just the past five years. Mobile ads present a huge opportunity for marketers, but they need to utilize mobile-friendly content formats.
"The key with mobile content is to focus on understanding each of the personas in your audience and tailor mobile-first content at scale. Brands should leverage digital platforms to identify the personas and learn what content sparks a conversation with each of them. That content will then drive engagement and achieve their marketing performance goals," said Ben-Itzhak.
Influencer marketing is projected to become a $10 billion market by 2020. It has become an important marketing tool for many brands across industries around the world. With so much money on the table, it's not a surprise to find fraud in the influencer marketing space. The first challenge involves identifying real versus fake accounts. Right now, a bulletproof strategy does not exist. However, Socialbakers has been able to identify three types of fraudulent activity within influencer marketing: fake followers, fake engagement and fake interests.
The research showed that brands can minimize the risk of working with fraudulent influencers by looking at two key data points: the influencer's performance over an extended time period, and their engagement level per 1,000 fans. In addition, benchmarking the performance of a few influencers over time can help to identify anomalies resulting from fraud.
For the foreseeable future, data will form the foundation for any successful campaign, empowering companies to communicate effectively with customers, make strategic changes quickly, and ultimately build strong brands.
"If you want to successfully leverage digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram for your marketing efforts, you need solid data to drive your decision making. In 2019, good data will still be imperative to help you know precisely where to invest your advertising budget in order to maximize reach, engagement and business impact," said Ben-Itzhak.