Social Media Trends Report: Key Insights From Q4 2020

Social Media Trends Report: Key Insights From Q4 2020

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In the Q4 2020 Social Media Trends Report, Socialbakers provides an analytical look at paid, organic, and influencer marketing at the end of the year and what it means heading into 2021.

Some findings in this report include a 56% YoY increase in digital ad spend, as well as regional and industry breakdowns of ad spend and CPC. The report also details the performance of different post types on Instagram and Facebook, offering a glimpse at the content distribution opportunities available for marketers.

Additionally, Socialbakers takes a closer look at developments in influencer marketing, including the impacts of the pandemic on overall influencer usage as well as changes in the use of influencers based on their follower size.

2020 was a year unlike any other, and many of the changes in user habit will affect digital marketing in 2021 and beyond. This report from Socialbakers can help you make sense of the current landscape in order to make the best decisions moving forward.

Here are some report highlights:

73% of Ad Spend Goes to Main Feeds

Chart Time Range: October 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020; Sample: 10,420 Facebook Advertising Accounts; Source: Socialbakers data

According to Socialbakers data, 73.7% of total ad spend went to the main feeds on Facebook and Instagram in Q4 2020.

The only other somewhat significant placement was Instagram Stories, which got 10.9% of spend. The other 15.4% of spend was sprinkled throughout 17 other placements.

Facebook Live Nearly Triples the Interactions of Video

Chart Time Range: October 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020; Sample: 145,277 Facebook Brand Pages & 53,347 Instagram Brand Profiles Worldwide; Source: Socialbakers data

In Q4 2020, Facebook Live was by far the most engaging format on the platform with 39 median post interactions, according to Socialbakers data. Images (14) and regular video (12) had the next highest amount of interactions on Facebook. 

On Instagram, carousel was the most engaging format with 176 median post interactions. Carousel posts, which can contain both images and videos, have consistently outperformed image and video.

Compared to Q3 2020, all formats on Instagram decreased organic interactions, and on Facebook only live video increased; all the other formats remained basically the same or decreased slightly.

Influencer #Ad Usage Decreases 17% YoY

Chart Time Range: October 01, 2019 – December 31, 2020; Sample: Instagram profiles associated with Brands Worldwide; Source: Socialbakers data

In Q4 2020, the number of Instagram influencers who used #ad in their posts decreased by 17.6% compared to Q4 2019. While there was still an overall increase for the holidays, it didn’t reach last year’s levels.

Looking closer at the size of Instagram influencers cooperating with brands, XL influencers (more than one million followers) were the only group to grow in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019.

Advice often steers marketers toward smaller influencers, and the data shows that XS and S influencers are used far more often than other groups. But at the end of 2020, it was the usage of XL and L influencers growing while others decreased.

The Socialbakers data factors in regional and other sponsored hashtags, including #sp, #paid, and #promo, as well as #ad usage. Influencer sizes are XS (less than 10k followers), S (10k-50k), M (50k-100k), L (100k-1m) and XL (greater than 1m).

The Takeaway

As we get further away from the initial stages of the pandemic, audience habits will become routine. As a marketer, it’s critical to follow this data in order to create campaigns that resonate in 2021.

In many ways, users now feel catered to as brands had to work extra hard to reach them on their preferred channels and keep their attention. Brands that have grown comfortable adapting to those changing habits will need to continue to apply those skills to succeed in the future.

Download the full report to gain the insights you need to succeed.

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