Social media ad spend up 21% year-over-year, but engagement flat –


Instagram leads in user engagement and customer service; Facebook continues to lag

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Emplifi, the leading unified customer experience (CX) platform, today unveiled the results of its Q1 2022 analysis of social media spend for thousands of brands globally.

While overall social media ad spend fell in the first quarter after an impressive holiday spread, it remains significantly higher than a year ago. At the same time, however, patterns of social engagement are stable or declining.

According to the most recent findings from Emplifi, average monthly ad spend by brand was $3,631 in Q1, down 19% from its year-end peak during the Q4 2021 holiday season. Still, that’s a nearly 21% increase from the Q1 2021 average of just over $3,000.

“Marketers still view paid social media as an integral part of the marketing mix. Plus, they’re willing to pay extra to reach their audience,” said Emplifi CMO, Zarnaz Arlia. “Despite the drop in ad spend after the holiday season, brands are still spending more than they were this time last year, even with steadily declining click-through rates that are now below 1% .”

Other key findings from the report:

  • Ad budgets are up, but stocks are down. Median monthly ad spend is steadily increasing year over year, despite falling costs per click. After trending upward through 2021, the median CPC fell 18% in Q1 2022 to around $0.18. Click-through rates have also declined slightly year-over-year, but remain at around 1%.
  • Facebook continues its slide. The median number of interactions with Facebook posts (likes, comments, shares) was down 17% year over year. In January 2021, the platform recorded a median of 6.54 interactions per 1,000 impressions; a year later, that number had dropped to 5.44. Still, that’s better than Facebook’s all-time low of 5.03 interactions in Q4 2021.
  • Instagram is holding up. By contrast, Instagram posts receive a median of just over 32 interactions per 1,000 impressions, a number that has remained relatively constant over the past year.
  • Mass posting Instagram Stories helps boost engagement. Emplifi’s data also suggests that posting multiple Instagram Stories in a five-minute window results in lower exit rates and higher levels of users returning to revisit posts. Video length, story order, and post time can also impact exit rates and tap backs.
  • The social protection of the brand is important. The ability of brands to answer customer questions on social media is a key differentiator between platforms. Instagram also leads the way here, with brands responding to a third of all customer questions left in comments and a median response time of 8.3 hours. Brands on Facebook responded to 26% of questions, up from 30% in Q1 2021, and took nearly 13 hours to post a response. Twitter’s median response rate was the lowest at 20%, but it was the fastest to respond at just under 3 hours.

“While response rates on Instagram and Facebook have improved from last quarter and are better than those on Twitter, they remain particularly high,” says Arlia. “Brands would be well served to strengthen customer relationships by responding more quickly to questions and concerns. If they don’t invest in improving social customer service, they risk losing significant market share. »


Emplifi’s analysis is based on data for the first quarter of 2022 and year-on-year comparisons uploaded in early April 2022. You can read the results here.

About Empifi

Emplifi is the leading unified CX platform that brings together marketing, commerce, and care to help businesses close the customer experience gap. More than 7,000 brands, including Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s, rely on Emplifi to deliver exceptional customer experiences at every touchpoint. For more information, visit


Amlika Lal

Global Director of Public Relations


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