What are the key social media platforms to focus on? Here are the current and future plans for organic and paid social from marketers all over the world.
If you’re new to social media, you want to know the benchmarking for the most popular social media platforms and tactics. If you’re already an experienced marketer, you want to keep up with the latest trends so that you keep your strategy fresh.
Social Media Examiner has released their 11th annual ‘State of Social’ report to provide insights on how 4800 marketers currently use social media and what their future plans are.
We are looking at the key findings and what they mean for all of us.
It’s not a surprise to see Facebook as the most commonly used social media platform among marketers. 94% of the respondents picked it as the first option, with Instagram coming second at 73%. Twitter comes third at 59% and LinkedIn is following at 58%.
The comparison of these stats with the ones from 2018 show growth by 7% for Instagram, a drop of 3% for Twitter and a growth of 8% for YouTube.
A closer look at the most popular social media platforms and how they split between B2B and B2C leads to some variations.
B2B marketers pick their most popular social media platforms in the following order:
Meanwhile, B2C marketers pick their most popular social media platforms in the following order:
Facebook may be the first option but Instagram is the second choice for B2C with LinkedIn coming second in B2B industries. LinkedIn is actually very relevant when targeting B2B professionals as it’s the perfect network to reach the right audience. Instagram is more commercial, which can be ideal for targeting consumers.
Social Media Examiner asked marketers to pick the social media platform that they see as the most important. Facebook was first once again but with a way smaller percentage than the answer on the most frequently used social media platforms (61%)
In fact, Facebook saw a drop of 6% from last year, while Instagram rose to second place with a 4% increase from last year (14%)
Organic social success has become a growing challenge with increased competition and changing algorithms.
It’s interesting to see how marketers are planning to change their organic social posting for every channel in the next 12 months.
51% of marketers are planning to increase their organic Facebook posting. 10% of marketers are planning to reduce their organic posting. In 2018 there were 62% of marketers who were planning to increase their organic Facebook posting. Facebook is a tricky channel to find organic success and it’s not a surprise to see a drop in those who are planning to increase their number of posts.
We tend to notice lately that quality and engagement are more important on Facebook rather than the increased number of posts.
Instagram is on the rise and 69% of marketers are planning to increase their organic posts in the next 12 months. 12% of marketers said that they don’t have plans to use Instagram over the next 12 months and this might have to do with their target audience and the best channels to reach them.
62% of marketers are planning to increase their organic posting on YouTube. This is actually an increase of 4% from last year.
52% of marketers are planning to increase their organic posting on LinkedIn. 25% of the respondents are planning to maintain the same frequency while 20% of them are not planning to use it, probably focusing on B2C audiences.
Only 35% of marketers are planning to increase their posting on Twitter in the next 12 months. This is a drop of 9% from last year and it could be attributed to the fact that Twitter hasn’t significantly changed from last year to require any big changes to your strategy. That’s why 38% of the respondents are planning to maintain their posting frequency over the next 12 months.
Snapchat is not very popular among marketers when thinking of their future plans.
76% of marketers are not planning to use Snapchat in the next 12 months. Only 9% of them are planning to increase their posting activities while 11% of them will maintain the same posting habits.
Except for the traditional social media channels, marketers were also asked about their future Messenger bot plans.
Only 32% of marketers are planning to increase their Messenger bot activities in 2019 while 53% of marketers are not planning to use them at all.
Instagram sees stable growth among all responses. More marketers see it as an important social media platform and it steadily reaches the top answers in their preferences.
When marketers were asked about the social media platform that they’d like to learn more about, 72% of them picked Instagram. Facebook was second (69%) and YouTube was third (67%).
Video content is seeing an increased usage on social media as it can be very engaging. The challenge is to pick the right channels to promote your video.
The most popular video channels for marketers are:
YouTube is traditionally the first option when thinking of video content but Facebook is steadily a good alternative especially when the focus is on short-term engagement. Instagram is also a very good choice with Stories winning ground. What’s interesting is that Facebook Stories are also at a prominent place and the proof is at their recent growth reaching 500 million active users.
Social media ads are becoming an integral part of a social media marketing strategy. Marketers are experimenting with different channels to find the best ROI with Facebook ads being the first choice for 72% of them. Instagram ads saw an increase of 7% with 38% of marketers now using them. LinkedIn ads (14%) and YouTube ads (12%) are following closely and they depend more on the particular target audience.
Looking at the future and the use of social media ads, more than half of marketers are planning to increase their paid activities on Facebook and Instagram over the next year. On the contrary, 84% of marketers are not planning to use Snapchat ads and 73% of the respondents are not planning to use Pinterest ads.
Similarly, 64% of marketers are not planning to use Twitter ads in the next 12 months.
What we notice from the graphs on the future use of social media ads is a strategy on focusing on what works. When looking at the future, it’s safer to confirm the usage of the channels that seem to work better while there’s always the option to adapt your strategy closer to that time.
It’s a good starting point to look at the channels that marketers prefer for their organic and paid activities.
We are seeing a small decline of Facebook and a growth of Instagram, especially for B2C. LinkedIn is a stable option for B2B and the biggest bet is to find the best channels to spend time for the distribution of video content.
It is also a good sign of maturity to be able to stop using the channels that don’t work for your brand and we see a growing number of marketers taking such decisions.
This report can be useful if you’re currently thinking of your marketing plans for the next 12 months and how to allocate your time and budget.
Look at the current channels that work better for your brand and those that you’d like to try out and start thinking of what success could look like.
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