Retail in Asia


Asia’s social ad spend soars 24 percent in Q4 2021

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Emplifi, a leading unified customer experience platform, released its Q4 2021 social media data, offering key insights into paid and organic user engagement and post interaction on Instagram and Facebook, and social media customer care.

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According to the analysis, ad spend on Facebook and Instagram in Asia Pacific (APAC) increased 24 percent in Q4 2021, in comparison to the previous quarter. Year-over-year (YoY) growth rose 11 percent to US$ 2,793.12 per ad account per month. In Singapore, social ad spend surged 32 percent in Q4 in comparison to the previous quarter. YoY growth jumped 16 percent to US$ 2,801.39 per ad account per month.

Emplifi reported that in Q4 2021, global ad spend was higher than at any point over the past year. Compared to the previous quarter, ad spend increased by 25 percent than what was spent in Q3 2021. A healthy holiday season led paid social to soar in Q4, up 21.25 percent from the same time in 2021.

The data highlights that more brands are investing in paid social over the holiday season. During the last quarter of 2021, global Click-Thru-Rates (CTRs) held steady but Cost-Per-Click (CPC) increased, meaning marketers had to pay more for that audience. In APAC, CPC grew 34 percent YOY while in Singapore, CPC grew 20 percent YoY.

Source: Emplifi

Brands benchmark their social media content’s level of engagement measured in likes, comments, and shares. In general, Instagram posts earned higher engagement than Facebook posts. In Q4 2021, APAC brands earned approximately 17 interactions per 1,000 impressions for a Facebook post, a 26 percent decrease compared to Q4 2020. Meanwhile, Instagram posts received about 65 interactions per 1,000 impressions in Q4 2021, a 35 percent decline compared to last year. On Facebook and Instagram, E-commerce brands had the highest engagement at 50 percent and 49 percent of interactions respectively. On Facebook, FMCG food lagged behind (2.9 percent) while on Instagram, Retail Food (3.2 percent) had the lowest engagement rates.

On the organic side, Facebook Instream Live Videos by brands in APAC generated the highest engagement with fans and followers compared to other types of posts, with 39 median post interactions. For Instagram, Carousel and Instagram TV performed well, with 76 and 62 median post interactions respectively.

“It’s important that brands understand what consumers want and need at each stage of their purchase journey. The foundation of any successful social media campaign is content that truly resonates with your target audiences, which alongside customer care, is a large contributor to a positive customer experience,” said Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia.

Today’s consumers spend their time on social media – that’s where they want to engage with brands and they have high expectations on responsiveness. Based on Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics Benchmark Survey, 2021, about 67 percent of APAC consumers use social media as a tool to show brands how they feel about them. Emplifi also analysed the efficacy of social media customer care by measuring how often brands respond to user questions in the comments (response rate), and the timeliness of their response (response time).

Within the APAC region, brand response rate declined slightly in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020 across two platforms – Facebook (-6.45 percent) and Instagram (-7.48 percent). On the other hand, Twitter’s response rate grew +3.27 percent YoY. Global data indicates that Beauty and FMCG Food brands have the highest response rates to user questions on social media, while Automotive brands had the lower response rates.

Source: Emiplifi

In terms of timeliness, APAC brands are taking longer to reply to user questions in comments on Instagram and Twitter, with year-on-year increases of 1.36 hours and 0.7 hours seen on these platforms, respectively. On the other hand, brands’ response times on Facebook decreased by less than an hour since Q4 2020.

Source: Emplifi

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The growing mainstream use of chatbots is also noteworthy. Over time, brands will increase both response rate and response time by leveraging AI-powered chatbots to respond to frequently asked questions.