Social Media ad costs continues to climb up in SE Asia

Ad spend on Facebook and Instagram in Southeast Asia reaches 36.4% YoY in Q3.

Brand investment in social media is growing faster than ever as social platforms become an essential part of consumers’ lives. Not only is ad spend up, but advertisers are gaining 3 times the engagement with Live video, and making notable improvements in customer response times via social channels.

This is according to the “State of Social Media and CX” report for Q3 2021, released by Emplifi, a unified customer experience platform. The report offers key insights on social media ad results, organic social media brand efforts, and CX trends.

According to the report, ad spend on Facebook and Instagram in Southeast Asia increased 36.4% year-over-year (YoY) during Q3 to USD 2,409.94 per ad account per month. In Singapore, social ad spend surged 34.3% YoY to USD 2,131.06 per ad account per month.

Global ad spend on Facebook and Instagram grew 43.4% YoY during the third quarter of 2021, fueled by a 10.5% growth between Q2 and Q3. As ad spend increased, advertising costs also continued to climb with Cost-Per-Clicks (CPCs) reaching their highest level since late 2020. In Singapore, CPC grew 34.3% YoY.

Facebook ad investments represent a clear sign of the times, with ad spend connected to the accommodation industry experiencing 94% growth YoY as countries reopen their borders and travel resumes across the globe. In Asia, the YoY ad spend growth in the accommodation sector increased a staggering 93.95%.

Meanwhile, advertisers’ Click-Through-Rates (CTRs) have remained stable with only slight fluctuations since this time last year. Emplifi’s data shows Facebook ad reach globally took a notable turn in the right direction, climbing 3.7% YoY— a slight increase, but a stark contrast to the 12.4% drop reported last quarter. At the regional level, although Southeast Asia reported a YoY decrease of 4%, this was an improvement compared to the 17.5% drop last year.

More Engagement with Live Videos

One of the most interesting findings on the organic side of social media trends shows Facebook Instream Live Videos by brands generated three times more engagement with fans and followers compared to other types of posts. 

Brands in Asia were most likely to go live compared to their counterparts. Emplifi data shows that the proportion of brands in Asia that went live on Facebook in Q3 2021 was 12%, the highest across all examined regions.

“While it’s true brands are having to invest more of their advertising dollars to reach consumers across social media platforms, there are still massive opportunities for B2C advertisers when it comes to using Live video within their social media marketing and social commerce initiatives,” said Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia. “Live video experiences on Facebook and Instagram are giving advertisers a new and fresh way to connect with their primary audiences, offering real-time conversation capabilities that drive measurable eCommerce gains.”

For the brands that do go Live on Facebook, those in the beauty, gambling, and eCommerce industry are generating the highest number of comments and interactions compared to other industries.

Based on industry reports, social commerce is booming in Asia. According to Euromonitor International, social commerce sales in the Asia Pacific are expected to surpass US$4 trillion by 2024, expanding consistently 25% YoY.[1] Social commerce accounted for about 44% of Southeast Asia’s US$109 billion e-commerce market last year[2].

A report by Facebook and Bain & Co found that social media is the key channel for discovery (37%), influence (31%), and research (26%) for brand consideration in Southeast Asia. The report also notes that eCommerce marketplaces (32%) and social commerce sites (21%) will make up at least half of online purchases in 2021. The region will be home to 380 million online shoppers by 2026.

“Consumers want a seamless shopping experience, from product discovery through purchase. Social commerce enables brands to sell their products directly in an app where the consumer is already shopping. The brands that understand the value in meeting customers where they are — on social platforms — will gain a significant competitive edge in the coming months,” said Arlia. “This is especially true for the brands that enable features like Live video to create more impactful experiences, and integrate sophisticated CX tools to elevate and enhance the customer journey.”

Southeast Asia report data includes Brunei, Cambodia, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam