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Social ad spend shifts to Instagram from Facebook

11 December 2018

Social ad spend shifts to Instagram from FacebookA new report on social media trends has found that Instagram is in the ascendancy but it warns that influencer fraud is also on the rise.

Socialbakers, the social media marketing platform, has investigated social media activity in 2018 and looked ahead at the likely trends in 2019.

Its findings show that Instagram advertising spend increased in 2018, while advertising spend on Facebook decreased. The report concludes that brands are shifting their investments between the two platforms - and from News Feed to Stories. Photos are the most heavily promoted type of content, but video promotion soared in 2018 and overtook photos in September.

With 2.6 billion monthly active users, the Facebook family (including Instagram) is still where most consumer-to-brand engagement happens online. However, in terms of engagement per user, the report says that Instagram users are far more engaged than Facebook users.

"Instagram is becoming the number one social media platform when it comes to engagement for brands," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, ceo of Socialbakers. "When we look at engagement on an absolute level, Instagram has a lot more engagement for brands than Facebook does, despite having a significantly smaller audience size. As a result, we see businesses leveraging Instagram for advertising more than ever before."

The analysis also found that Facebook ad impressions happen overwhelmingly on mobile, as mobile users consume more ads - only 5% of ad impressions on Facebook now happen on desktop.

"The key with mobile content is to focus on understanding each of the personas in your audience and tailor mobile-first content at scale," said Ben-Itzhak. "Brands should leverage digital platforms to identify the personas and learn what content sparks a conversation with each of them. That content will then drive engagement and achieve their marketing performance goals."

Avoiding influencer fraud will be a key consideration in 2019, the report warns. "It's estimated that influencer marketing ad spending will reach $10 billion by 2020," said Ben-Itzhak. "But in this golden age of influencer marketing, there is also a good deal of fraud. In 2019, social media marketers will learn they need to do their due diligence before investing in an influencer - and watch out for fake fans, fake engagement and fake interests."

He also warns that brands need to focus on their data in 2019: "If you want to successfully leverage digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram for your marketing efforts, you need solid data to drive your decision-making. In 2019, good data will still be imperative to help you know precisely where to invest your advertising budget in order to maximise reach, engagement and business impact."

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