Social media is an essential marketing tool and will continue to be as younger demographics drift away from traditional platforms and turn to platforms like Instagram as their main channel for content. But, how is social media evolving, what is lacking and what are marketers saying?
According to the latest report, Stories is a major tool to connect to a brand’s audience. Around 57 percent of brands feel stories have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” to their social media strategy. Merely, two percent of respondents found stories “very ineffective.” The report noted the introduction of ads to the stories gave businesses more chances to generate value from it. About 61 percent plan to invest in these ads this year.
More consumers are using messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but that doesn’t mean advertising is taking advantage of those platforms quite yet. Consumers want their chats to remain private, especially after Facebook disclosed they automatically scan them. The report shows 71 percent of companies don’t use these platforms for marketing and it seems the trend won’t be changing anytime soon. Around 50 percent of respondents say they don’t plan to use any messaging app in 2019. But brands could be missing out on a big opportunity by refusing to use this feature.
“We fully expect messaging apps to realize their potential in 2019; the requirement to actively opt-in means users are much more engaged in these private spaces than they are when scrolling through a news feed, making it easier for brands to build direct and meaningful relationships with their customers quickly, on a mobile-first basis,” said Peter Daly, Social Chain’s head of marketing to Buffer.
Most brands aren’t using IGTV either. Only 12 percent of companies use the vertical video app and approximately 72 percent of marketers don’t plan on using IGTV this year. However, it doesn’t mean video content isn’t important. On the contrary, more brands are making videos this year—36.7 percent publish video content monthly. The survey found Facebook is still king for video content, around 81 percent of brands use the platform.
Influencer marketing was another topic in the survey. The increase of fake influencers and followers, especially on Instagram, made the rules surrounding influencer marketing unclear. About 45 percent of marketers feel the current regulations/guidelines on influencer marketing are “unclear.” Marketers are still using influencers for their brand and 45 percent believe it has been “somewhat effective.” In spite of the rules, the majority of respondents—88 percent—will continue to use influencers.
In terms of measurement, Buffer states it pretty plainly here, “Social media’s effectiveness as a marketing channel has long been debated, and our survey found that, though social media is key to marketing strategy, 19 percent of marketers are still uncertain how to measure its effectiveness.”
The State of Social 2019 also found an overwhelming majority of marketers, 93 percent of respondents, use Facebook for their business. About half don’t have a documented social media strategy and “lack of time” is the biggest hurdle in creating more video content.
According to Buffer “1,842 marketing professionals took part in the State of Social 2019 survey.”