How does social media work, at the beginning of 2019? What do marketers spend their time worldwide and what are they struggling with? In this article, I will share the most striking results from the latest Buffer research.
Buffer ( a well known social media tool) researches social media every year. The company questions how marketers worldwide think about social media, what works, and how the industry changes. 1842 marketing professionals participated in the 2019 edition.
The ROI of social media
Striking: 58.8% of marketers in the survey call social media marketing “a very important” part of their marketing strategy (and 30.5% “somewhat important”). Nevertheless, 19% of respondents still have doubts about how to measure the effectiveness of social media.
Most of the marketers think that likes, shares, and comments are the most important factor when it comes measuring the effectiveness of social media (followed by interaction with the brand and discussion). Given these reactions, it is not surprising that most companies see engagement as the most critical ROI ( return on investment ), followed by traffic, leads, and sales. Another striking fact: most marketers mention elements that fall into the consideration phase. Social media also plays a vital role in the awareness phase, where reach is necessary, for example. This article helps you determine the real ROI of social media.
Although the popularity of Facebook is decreasing, we see that Facebook is still the most used social network by businesses. If we were to break it down by size, from biggest to smallest: Facebook, Twitter (yes!), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Much lower down the line are Pinterest, WhatsApp, IGTV and Snapchat.
Stories are popular
A billion people worldwide are now using stories on channels owned by Facebook. Snapchat is not included (a little ironic, since Snapchat introduced the format).
Now that consumers are busy with stories, it is also an excellent way to get in touch with your target group as a company. Although 34.6% of marketers are ‘not sure about the effectiveness of stories’, 35% report that they are ‘more or less effective’, and 22.6% even say it is ‘very effective’ as part of their social media strategy. Are you looking for inspiration? Then view this infographic with 30 content ideas for stories.
If we go a step further and look at ads in stories, we see that 62.9% has not yet advertised via Instagram or Facebook Stories. 61% indicates that they plan to do so in 2019.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing
Although influencer marketing seems to be becoming increasingly mature in Europe, only 37.2% of companies in Buffers have been working with influencers. The majority of them (45.2%) call influencer marketing more or less effective for their company. 23% call it questionable and according to another 23%, it was very effective. 70% calls Instagram the most effective channel for influencer marketing, with reach being the most important, followed by clicks.
Although a fair share of companies is not sure whether it has been effective for them, 88% of the companies that use influencer marketing will continue to do so in 2019. However, it should be noted that more than half of the surveyed marketers the guidelines on influencer marketing are unclear (44.8% unclear, 14.8% very unclear).
The video is important.
Video remains very important for most companies. The majority publishes videos on a monthly basis (36.7%), followed by weekly (24.3%), and then never (14.5%), daily (12.9%) and bi-weekly (11.6%). The biggest obstacle to making more video is lack of time for most companies (66.5%). ‘Only’ 41.6 percent have no budget (anymore), and 23.7 percent do not know what to make.
Although the popularity of Facebook is decreasing, this remains the most popular place to share videos – followed by that, comes along the video platform YouTube, followed by Instagram and LinkedIn.
Video on Instagram is NOT popular
It is striking that Instagram is not that popular at all, especially because the platform launched Instagram TV (IGTV) in June 2018, a dedicated vertical video platform. Only 12.2% of respondents said their company published videos on IGTV in 2018. And also a striking fact: 72% of companies do not have plans to make content for IGTV in 2019.
In the EU countries, too few companies are active on IGTV, and good examples are scarce. Instagram expert Kirsten Jassies notices that companies find it difficult to find a proper working format.
Keep an eye on LinkedIn
Buffer advises keeping an eye on video LinkedIn. Videos on LinkedIn are shared more than 20 times more often than other content. You already see many professionals who vlog on LinkedIn, but also for companies it offers great opportunities to share their knowledge visually.
How recognizable is this for you?
Because this Buffer survey among marketers is held worldwide, it is not surprising if there are regional differences. At Lorelei Web, for example, we notice a significant shift from Facebook to Instagram. What do you see? Do you recognize the results of the research in your own practice? Let us know in the comment below.