On the last Tuesday of each month from 1-2 pm [GMT] we host the Social Media News Show, which provides a useful update on what changes the social networks have been making, along with user updates. Hosted in collaboration with Andy Lambert from ContentCal we explore the developments on the social media landscape to ensure you are kept up to date!

We broadcast the show live on Joanne's LinkedIn profile, into our Facebook Group and on our YouTube Channel.

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Here's the big takeaways from May 2021

Most downloaded apps.

Organic Social Benchmarks

Facebook Live Delivers More Than 3x The Interactions of Video

In Q1 2021, Facebook Live was by far the most engaging format on the platform with 42 median post interactions, according to Socialbakers data. Images (13) and regular video (12.5) had the next highest amount of interactions on Facebook.

On Instagram, carousel was the most engaging format with 182 median post interactions. Carousel posts, which can contain both images and videos, have consistently outperformed image and video.

Compared to Q4 2020, most of the formats remained relatively stable. Facebook Live and carousel on Instagram increased slightly, while the others remained basically the same or decreased slightly.

Short Posts Garner Most Interactions

According to Socialbakers data, posts with less than 100 characters received the highest number of median interactions.

While there wasn't a huge disparity in performance among the various lengths - the overall median was 257 - the data suggests that short and very long Instagram posts performed the best.

One takeaway from this data is to not be afraid to have long, detailed posts when necessary. If the information is useful or interesting, audiences won't be deterred from interacting just because it's longer.

Fewer Hashtags Often Perform Better

According to Socialbakers data, worldwide media posts with no hashtags on Instagram had nearly double the amount of median interactions as other posts that did use hashtags.

However, when looking at worldwide brand accounts on Instagram, posts with 1-2 hashtags were slightly ahead of those with 3-4 or no hashtags.

What's consistent in both cases is that throwing on a bunch of hashtags is not an effective strategy. Social media managers should avoid tacking on unnecessary in an effort to gain more traction as data shows that it just doesn't work.

LinkedIn Stories. Are they worth the effort?

  • > Average views per Story(personal profile) = 147
  • > Average views per Story (company profile) = 9
  • > Personal profile Story viewers as a percentage of my personal following = 0.43% (~34K followers)
  • > Company profile Story viewers as a percentage of my company following = 0.84% (~1K followers)
  • > Average responses per Story = 1

Paid Social Benchmarks

Social Media Ads. What's the latest?

  • > A report by Agency Group M showed digital media grew by more than 7% in 2020, projecting 22% growth in 2021.
  • > Google and Facebook make up about 87% of the growth according to the NY Times and Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Global Social Media Ad Spend Grows 60% YoY

Worldwide reliance on social media marketing to reach consumers at home has grown over the course of 2020 and it continues to be on the same growth trajectory this year.

In Q1 2021, marketers spent 60% more on Facebook and Instagram advertising compared to Q1 in 2020.

In North America, ad spend grew as much as 59% YoY, in Western Europe and spend grew 44%, but most significantly in Latin America ad spend grew 68%.

We are likely to see the uptrend continue as the world reopens after the pandemic lockdown and businesses ramp up spending to reach consumers - especially in sectors that, due to circumstances, were not able to provide businesses or services during this time.

Costs to Advertise Increase In Parallel to Ad Spend

With total Facebook and Instagram spend reaching new highs this year, the overall worldwide costs to advertise grew by 37% in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020.

In Western Europe, the cost to advertise grew by 35% YoY, while in Southern Europe in Grew 44% YoY. In North America it grew 32% YoY, in Latin America and Central America costs grew by 31% YoY, and in Southeast Asia by as much as 66% YoY.

In East Asia the costs to advertise grew the least at 12% YoY.

The growing advertising costs signal higher competitiveness among advertisers and future success will be increasingly more dependant on the expertise, advertising tools, and the accuracy of data advertisers use.

Facebook and Instagram Ad Spend By Industry

Facebook users up to 10% YoY

Twitter DAU 28% YoY

Let's look at the trends.

More 'Gen Z'ers now use TikTok than Instagram.

What's New?

The impact of iOS 14.5

Facebook encourages you to read an article before sharing.

Facebook launches Live Stream E-commerce.

3 New 'Creator' focussed updates

  • > A marketplace to match brands with creators
  • > 'Creator shops', allowing creators to sell goods to Instagram users via their profiles.
  • > An affiliate marketplace, allowing creators to get a cut of sales they generate through their posts.

Instagram Live takes on Clubhouse.

Auto Captions comes to Stories

Working on scheduling a 'Live'

Employee Advocacy Analytics

Twitter will no longer crop images on your timeline

Rolls out Reply Prompts

Twitter 'Spaces' launches

Twitter Spaces comes to Android.

Twitter Spaces improved discoverability.

Twitter Spaces adds a 'ticketed' option.

Twitter Spaces adds scheduling and reminders.

Twitter acquire newsletter subscription platform, Scroll.

Twitter 'Tip Jar' rolling out.

Twitter 'Blue', Twitters subscription offering begins to take shape.

Begins testing live streaming.

Launch 'Idea Pins'

'Short's now starting to show for UK users

Launch $100m creator fund

Launches Creator Marketplace

Snapchat Growth

Snapchat says it has 500 Million Monthly Active Users

Launches Lead Gen Ads

Enables 'Green Screen' as part of 'Duets'

TikTok moves to the next stage of E-commerce

Clubhouse downloads are falling off a cliff.

The app was downloaded only about 900,000 times in April, down from February's peak of 9.6 Million.

Trends and Themes

  • > Paid social continues to grow
  • > But... will Twitter 'Blue' show a new route forward for social, not driven by ads?
  • > Facebook & Twitter news subscriptions will offer new opportunity for deeper engagement
  • > More Marketplaces and Creator Funds pave the way for the future of Influencers/UGC
  • > Ecommerce will be a new dawn for Live-streaming

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