With the growing penetration of the internet and handheld devices, the number of people using social media is expected to reach six billion by the year 2027, up from 4.59 billion people in 2022.
As businesses are able to reach large audiences through social media platforms, it comes as no surprise that ad spending in the social media advertising space is projected to hit US$219.8 billion in the year 2024. It is also estimated to show growth at a CAGR of 3.86% between the years 2024 and 2028.
These were the results of GoodFirms latest social media marketing survey which also revealed that the main benefits of social media marketing include its cost-effectiveness, ability to improve brand awareness, increase customer engagement and enhance customer experience.
However, when it comes to determining the right platform to utilise, 93.5% of brands use LinkedIn.
92.8% of businesses also said that LinkedIn offered the best engagement rates for them.
Instagram comes in second place for the most popular platform among marketers with 71.4% of participants saying so while 68.3% leverage Facebook as part of their marketing efforts.
Interestingly, TikTok came in sixth place with only 33.9% of marketers considering the platform to execute their marketing strategies. TikTok fell to eighth place below Whatsapp for which platform businesses spend most of their budget on with 17.1%.
It is also crucial for brands to work on social media management efficiently so as to focus on multiple social media platforms and create content that is suitable for all the platforms by keeping the type of content and target audience in mind.
The challenges of social media marketing
While we have discussed the numerous benefits of social media marketing, these benefits do not translate to where marketing dollars are being allocated.
In fact, 39.7% of participants said that they allocated less than 25% of their marketing budget to social media marketing.
On the other hand, 11.6% of surveyed businesses mentioned that they allocate more than 75% of their marketing budget to social media marketing and 15.8% allocated 50 to 75% of their budgets.
With regard as to why businesses are hesitant to spend more on this area, they cited issues with social media’s ever-evolving algorithms that can be difficult to keep up with. As social media algorithms are meant to facilitate user access to relevant results, marketers must be flexible and quick in their social media campaigns.
Frequently changing social media algorithms can also result in reduced customer reach, changes to the metrics that measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns, and the need to cope with the changing algorithms.
Social media trends also come and go which is why another major challenge that marketers face while implementing a social media strategy is being able to hop on viral trends before they become outdated.
Especially with fierce competition among brands, marketers who fail to adapt to newer trends may see the brand relevance dip among customers.
To circumvent this, having an eye on the changing market shifts and analysing the marketing campaigns of competitors can help businesses stay updated with the latest trends. Having a dedicated social media team or a social media agency may also be of great help for brands to stay relevant.
Moreover, while collecting customer data is important for creating personalised experiences for customers, there are also rising data security concerns.
Businesses must understand these privacy concerns and find solutions to minimise any data security or privacy risks. Social media platforms can also pose a threat to crucial information, which can tarnish the brand image and lead to serious financial losses.
What content are marketers posting?
As a successful social media strategy hinges on the type of content that is being used, blog posts have been an absolute favourite among businesses with 92.6% of businesses admitting to having them as a part of their marketing strategy.
Similarly, 87.1% of surveyed businesses said they post images on social media, while 79.2% of businesses also use articles for their social media strategies.
Strikingly, short-form videos failed to take the top spot with 74.7% of survey respondents primarily investing in this format. This is at odds with data from a recent report done by Munch, an AI-powered automation platform for social media. It highlighted that 66% of consumers find short-form videos to be the most engaging format.
According to the report, video content is no longer an option, but a necessity for business and brands aiming for success, with 42% of businesses preferring Instagram and 26% preferring Facebook to post such videos. TikTok does not rank among the top three platform choices for marketers.
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