Social Media Platforms 2021: Which to Invest In?

7 May 2021

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Victoria is a leading digital advertising expert @Viden with years of marketing experience, using a data-driven approach to identify growth opportunities and deliver value for brands across all paid channels.
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Social media marketing allows brands to showcase their products and services to a target audience via several social media platforms. This article offers insights based on the 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report concerning beneficial tips that would guide marketers, advertisers, and brands to making informed decisions on which social media platforms to invest in in the second half of 2021.

Overview

Let’s have a closer look at what happened in 2020 during the pandemic and how it moved advertising in social media.

Is Facebook’s clout diminishing?
One of the biggest platforms, Facebook, has lost some ground not only in 2020 but in the past two years. Why? Simply as that, marketers decided to use other platforms. This change of direction resulted in Facebook having a gaping percentage drop in 2 years from 67% in 2018 to 59% in 2020. Social Media Examiner reports that this trend seems to continue as 1 in 10 marketers said they’d decrease their organic marketing activities on Facebook. Only 50% of the marketers showed commitment to the platform and increased their organic marketing activities – a far cry from 62% recorded two years before.

Nevertheless, Facebook remains a dominant platform. The platform has the patronage of 94% of advertisers, while Instagram follows with 76%. However, 59% of marketers attest that Facebook ranks best as their primary social platform. The leading live video platform is Facebook Live, used by 38% of marketers.

Is Instagram the new deal?
Instagram has assumed the second most sought-after social media platform after Facebook. Instagram’s prominence is because 76% of marketers use Instagram. In addition, 67% of marketers anticipate increasing their organic marketing activities on the platform in 2021.

YouTube remains unshaken
YouTube has a high rate of acceptance among marketers. As a result, 69% of marketers intend to increase the YouTube video, while 73% indicated an interest in understanding how marketing on YouTube works. Currently, YouTube dominates the video channel for marketing with 55% of advertisers using the platform.

TikTok news
As for TikTok, brands barely find it attractive – just 5% of marketers use the platform and do not intend to use TikTok over the next 12 months. But, 30% of marketers have shown interest in understanding how the platform works.

Platforms B2B vs. B2C

The same research revealed that marketers in the B2C segment are more inclined to use Facebook ads when compared to marketers in the B2B segment (74% of B2C vs. 62% B2B). B2C brands have leaned towards using Instagram ads, while B2B marketers prefer using LinkedIn ads.

Below is how B2B marketers ranked in their preferences for social media platforms:

  • Facebook – 91%
  • LinkedIn – 81%
  • Instagram – 71%
  • Twitter – 59%
  • YouTube – 56%
  • Pinterest – 22%
  • Messenger bots – 15%
  • Snapchat – 4%
  • TikTok – 4%

Here’s how B2C marketers ranked in the preferences for social media platforms:

  • Facebook – 96%
  • Instagram – 82%
  • YouTube – 53%
  • Twitter – 53%
  • LinkedIn – 50%
  • Pinterest – 28%
  • Messenger bots – 13%
  • Snapchat – 6%
  • TikTok – 5%

Consequently, in general, 59% of marketers affirmed that Facebook is the best platform, 17% choose Instagram, 14% settled for LinkedIn, 5% went to YouTube, Twitter has 3%, while Facebook Messenger bots and Pinterest shared 1% respectively.

Social media platforms – Beginners vs. Pro

Here is exciting statistics that show companies’ media platform choices depending on their age and life cycle. Below is the statistics representing the preferences of early-staged (with less than 12 months experience) and mature (with over five years experience) companies. Beginners show their preferences over Facebook and Instagram ads, while experienced companies favor diversifying social media channels.

Resource: 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

What is happening right now?

Presently, most brands have resorted to social media ads to scale up their services and products. Also, the incidence of a global pandemic became a game-changer.

Measuring ROI
The issue of measuring return on investment (ROI) became problematic for advertisers already in 2020. Regarding measuring organic social media activities, only 35% of marketers attested to measuring their activities. This shows a decline from 44% in 2019 to 35% in 2020. 30% of companies mentioned that they could not perform their measurements, while 35% found it difficult to answer. In 2020, brands showed tremendous interest in improving their knowledge of Google Analytics. A total of 82% of marketers declared interest in deepening their knowledge about Google Analytics.

Mobile mobile mobile
COVID came as a surprise to many and still wreaking havoc. On social media, it was not welcomed as bad news because it increased the time people were gluing to their devices and mostly mobile. With drastic measures to check the spread of COVID, mobile phone users adopted their devices as their virtual companions. This increased screen time which luckily affected social media campaigns gainfully. You can learn more about advertising on mobile from our latest article and create highly engaging first-mobile creatives.

Read Now: Mobile-First Creatives: Why Worth Caring and How to Develop One

Video content is continuing to gain traction
Video content has assumed center stage in the social media marketing ecosystem. Though YouTube remains the behemoth in video content, social media platforms have integrated powerful video content tools that marketers find helpful. Statistics show that the number of people that chose to watch YouTube rather than non-video social platforms grew four times.

  • 1.4 billion native videos watched monthly on Reddit
  • 68% of the YouTube audience made a purchasing decision after watching a clip
  • 84% of people bought a company’s product after watching any of their videos

The year 2020 marked a steady increase in learning about video. While YouTube video stays on top (for both B2B and B2C), B2C marketers beat their B2B counterparts in their second inclination to learn about Instagram videos and Facebook videos when B2B marketers maintained their fixation on LinkedIn videos. The statistics are below:

  • Instagram video: B2B – 62% and B2C – 75%
  • Facebook video: B2B – 65% and B2C – 77%
  • LinkedIn video: B2B – 69% and B2C – 43%

Resource: 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Conclusion

Facebook and Instagram remain the leading platforms for B2C and B2B (also Linkedin for B2B) and early-staged companies. Brands with over five years of experience prefer to diversify digital advertising over different platforms. Measuring the ROI of social media activities is fundamental for marketers, though there seems to be an enduring challenge, as a report shows. Our team is always glad to help with strategic marketing consultancy and analytics. We are happy to chat over a call and assist you with a free consultation.

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