Brands are increasing their investment in social platforms to improve customer experiences and drive social commerce, the report shows.

Ad spend on Facebook and Instagram increased 74.29% year-over-year (YoY) during Q2 to USD 2,287.22 per ad account per month, while costs to advertise (CPC) grew 85.75%. In Singapore, social ad spend surged 106% YoY to USD 2,162.96 per ad account per month.

This is according to Emplifi, the unified customer experience platform, which has released its “State of Social Media and CX” report, highlighting key data points for social media ad spend by industry and region, organic post performance, influencer marketing, and CX trends for Q2 2021.

According to the report, global social ad spend saw a 50% YoY jump while the overall worldwide CPC grew by 85.1%. Marketers spent 49.9% more on Facebook and Instagram advertising globally compared to Q2 2020.

“The ongoing increase in social media ad spend is proving to be more than just a pandemic-related ‘bounce-back’ scenario. More and more brands are relying on social media marketing to engage with their audiences meaningfully and at scale,” said Zarnaz Arlia, Chief Marketing Officer, Emplifi. “Social commerce and the formats which support it are also becoming more prevalent as the year goes on. As more brands recognize the value of live streaming and start to leverage more live content to cater to users at different stages of the customer journey.”

Higher e-commerce brand interactions

In Singapore, the e-commerce category accounted for 41.8% of the total interactions of brand pages on Facebook in Q2 2021. On Instagram, the services sector took up the most interactions at 17.6%, followed by the retail category with 16.8%. These industries are mainly service-based, demonstrating that brands are adapting to the modern consumer and providing customer support and customer service through social media platforms.

Brands are boosting empathetic messaging

Emplifi’s report also includes influencer marketing trends and vital data on organic social media content. For example, the number of posts with the hashtags #Pride and #PrideMonth from global brands more than doubled year-over-year in 2021, a clear indicator that brands are boosting their efforts to better connect with audiences through more empathetic messaging. In Southeast Asia, brands in Thailand, the Philippines and Australia led discussions on Pride Month with over 750 posts.

“As more and more consumers begin to expect a brand’s social media channels to facilitate outstanding customer experiences across many stages of the customer journey, the importance of engagement and interaction data is taking on a greater significance. What we’re seeing is that an engaging and responsive social media presence is no longer just a “nice-to-have” for consumer facing brands, it’s a key point of differentiation,” said Arlia.

Live video more engaging than traditional content

The report shows that Facebook Live videos earned the highest number of organic post interactions and delivered three-times the engagement rates of standard videos globally, but account for less than 1% of branded posts. In Singapore, Facebook Live videos and video posts performed the best compared to other formats (status, photo and links). Social media users are engaging far more with live video than traditional content, said the report.