Marketers are less enamored with Facebook, embracing Instagram and showing more interest in YouTube. They also continue to face challenges measuring social media ROI. Those are some of the findings from the 2019 Social Media Industry Report from Social Media Examiner.
Marketers are diversifying away from Facebook, reveals the survey of 4,800 marketers. For the first time in the last five years, Facebook lost share as the most important platform for marketers, dropping from 67% in 2018 to 61% in 2019. One in ten marketers indicate they’ll decrease their organic marketing on Facebook. Only 51% of marketers plan to increase Facebook organic activities, down from 62% in 2018.
Despite its drop as a marketing favorite, Facebook’s dominance remains strong. Almost all marketers use Facebook. About two-thirds say it’s their most important social platform.
The survey doesn’t mention Facebook’s recent privacy and data security scandals that have damaged the company’s reputation and contributed to stalling user growth. More likely, marketers have unliked Facebook because of newsfeed algorithm changes that reduced brands’ organic reach.
For the first time in the study, the top question marketers want answered is how to achieve better engagement. This is likely in reaction to Facebook news feed changes made in early 2018 that places a priority on meaningful social interactions.
Rather than putting their faith in organic reach, more marketers are turning to Facebook advertising. Some marketers believe Facebook made the algorithm changes to force greater use of the platform’s advertising. Facebook ads are used by 72% of marketers and 59% plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads over the next 12 months, according to the survey.
Social Media ROI Challenges
Determining ROI of social media continues to plague marketers. Only 44% say they can measure their organic social media activities. That’s the same as last year and up only slightly from 2017 when 38 percent indicated they could measure ROI. While the survey notes that most marketers want to understand more about Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, many experts recommend using a social media analytics tool that can integrate data from all media sources and report advanced social media metrics.
Social media channels generally report only basic metrics and lack robust analytics. Marketers can devise their own key performance indicators and benchmarks to measure progress over time rather than depending networks’ native analytics.
A media monitoring dashboard that integrates all forms of media saves time, provides real-time access, displays a comprehensive view of performance, and makes it easier to analyze and interpret data. It’s crucial to incorporate social media listening into PR and marketing strategies to understand what consumers are saying about your brand, information not necessarily available through platform’s native analytics.
More Marketing on Instagram, YouTube.
While Facebook falls, Instagram rises. Instagram is owned by Facebook. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents now use Instagram for marketing, up from 66% in 2018, reveals the Social Media Examiner survey. After Facebook, it’s now the second most important social platform for marketing, replacing LinkedIn. A significant 69% of marketers plan on increasing their Instagram organic activities over the next 12 months. In addition, Instagram is the number-one platform marketers want to learn more about, surpassing Facebook for the first time.
YouTube interest is also high. A significant 71% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube videos and 75% want to learn more about marketing on the platform. YouTube is the number-one video channel, used by 57% of marketers.
Interest in messenger bots declined. Messenger bots seem like a shiny new object that won attention but failed to maintain marketing interest. Only 14% of marketers use bots, down from 15% in 2018. Only 32% of marketers plan on increasing their bot activities, down from 39% in 2018. Interest in learning more about Messenger bots dropped to 45% from 70% in 2018.
Bottom Line: Many marketers may have become disillusioned with Facebook due to difficulties in achieving decent organic reach. Marketers place less emphasis on Facebook than in the past and more show interest in Instagram and YouTube, new research reveals. Still, Facebook remains the dominant social media channel.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.