Emplifi Insights

The state of social media and CX: Key insights from Q3 2021

Global ad spend continues upward trends, while one ad placement remains underused despite higher Click-Through-Rates (CTR)

In a competitive digital world, knowledge is power. Brands need up-to-date intelligence to maximize their investment in social media and make their marketing stand out from the crowd. But the right data and analysis can be difficult to find.

Emplifi's new report, The State of Social Media and CX: Q3 2021, dives deep into Emplifi data to reveal the latest trends in paid and organic social media. The insights in its pages will help marketers plan their strategies, increase engagement, and improve the performance of their upcoming campaigns. Along the way, they will find ideas to elevate their brand's CX throughout the customer journey.

Highlights from Q3 2021 include detailed insights on paid ad spend, reach, and engagement on Facebook and Instagram. The report also covers a wide range of developments in organic social media, from live video engagement to how brands' response times to customer comments on their Facebook pages. We examine trends for different industries, regions, content formats, and more.

Below, we share three essential trends for marketers to know as 2021 comes to an end. For more, download your copy of Emplifi's latest report, The State of Social Media and CX: Q3 2021.

Ad spend grows 43% year-over-year

After a pandemic-driven drop in early 2020, marketers have poured money into Facebook and Instagram advertising. The rapid increase in ad spend throughout 2021 suggests that this is not just a temporary rebound, but reflects a long-term trend toward greater reliance on paid social media marketing.

Growth continued in Q3 2021, as ad spend increased by 10.5% between Q2 and Q3 alone. As a result, brands spent 43.4% more on Facebook and Instagram ads in Q3 2021 than they did in Q3 2020. The median monthly ad spend seen in Q3 2021 matched the level seen during the busy Q4 2020 holiday season, pointing to the likelihood of a new year high in Q4 2021.

Live video drives 3x more interactions than any other type of Facebook post

Live video continues to drive engagement by enabling authentic, real-time connections between brands and consumers. In Q3 2021, live video on Facebook had a median rate of 42 interactions per post. That was approximately 3x higher than any other kind of post—including photos (15) and pre-recorded video (14).

Nonetheless, Emplifi's data suggests the potential of live video is largely going untapped. In fact, the global share of Pages going live has dropped from 11.7% to 7.7% since Q3 2020.

Facebook Instream Video leads in CTR, but remains underused by brands

Facebook Instream Video outperformed all other ad placements in CTR (0.36%) across Facebook and Instagram in Q3 2021. Facebook News Feed was the runner-up (0.29%), with other positions (Facebook Video Feeds, Instagram Stories, Instagram Feed) lagging far behind.

Despite its outstanding performance, Facebook Instream Video received only 4.8% of ad spend—behind the aforementioned ad placements. The takeaway? Marketers should explore how they could potentially start leveraging this highly effective (yet underutilized) ad placement to help drive engagement and CTR in their paid social media efforts.

Report: State of Social Media and CX - Q3 2021