By Chantal India, on 15 October 2021
Year after year, Facebook continues to be a great channel for marketing thanks to its reach and the many possibilities of Facebook Ads. However, that does not mean that you should always do the same type of marketing on Facebook, as the behavior of users and brands is continually evolving.
Keeping up to date with Facebook trends is essential for effective marketing. In order to prepare yourself for what is coming in 2022, we are sharing the main conclusions of the Emplifi study State of Social Media and CX Q2 of 2021.
8 Organic Facebook Trends in 2021
1. The Engagement Gap Between Facebook and Instagram Is Expanding
In Q2 of 2020, the total number of interactions (likes and comments) generated by brands on Instagram was 5.2 times higher than interactions on Facebook. In Q2 of 2021, the difference increased and interactions on Instagram were 6.4 times higher.
On both networks, the number of interactions per post has been declining since Q3 2020.
2. Images Triumph on Facebook and Instagram
Looking at brand profiles globally, images account for 72.5% of Facebook content and 61.2% of Instagram content.
The second most popular format on Facebook is video (16.5%), followed by links (9.4%), status updates (0.9%), and Facebook Live videos (0.7%). It is worth noting that, despite low usage of live videos, they get the highest number of organic interactions.
On Instagram, the second most popular format is video (19.8% of posts), followed by the carousel (19%), that can include both images and videos.
3. IGTV Is More Effective at Generating Engagement Than Standard Video Posts
Since the launch of IGTV, Instagram has added multiple integrations to increase views and interactions, like including IGTV content in the Explore tab and previews of IGTV videos in Instagram feeds.
In Q2 of 2021, these integrations started to pay off. IGTV managed to approach the interaction levels of photo-based posts and outperformed standard video posts.
4. Posts with Fewer Hashtags Tend to Get Better Results
According to Emplifi's study, Instagram posts from media and news accounts that did not include hashtags got almost twice as many interactions as posts that did use hashtags.
On branded accounts, posts with 1 or 2 hashtags got the highest levels of interaction, followed by those that included none.
In conclusion, including too many hashtags in posts is not an effective strategy for generating more engagement. Instead, limit the number of hashtags per post and try to make them as relevant as possible.
5. Short and Long Posts Generate More Interactions
Instagram posts with less than 50 characters received the highest number of interactions in Q2 of 2021. Interestingly enough, the average number of interactions rises once 500 characters are exceeded, which tells us that both very short and very long posts are the best performers.
One possible explanation is that users see very short and very long posts as different types of content. In the short ones, the image is the main content, while in the long ones, the text is much more important.
6. Influencer Activity Stabilizes
The number of sponsored posts from influencers dropped sharply at the beginning of the pandemic but has since recovered. According to Emplifi, this is one of the key Facebook trends for the second half of 2021.
7. Mentions of LGBT Pride Tripled in 2021
The number of brand posts that include hashtags like #pride or #pridemonth has been on the rise since 2016, but the jump between 2020 and 2021 was very significant, especially on Facebook.
Brands are increasingly aware that their audience expects them to take a stand on important social issues. Although it may seem that many of them are not directly related to their products and services, brand values are important to users. Therefore, brands need to think about how to communicate their stance on social issues through their marketing strategy.
8. Telecom Brands Are the Fastest to Respond on Facebook
The telecommunications sector stands out for its customer service on social networks, as it has the fastest response time to both comments (2 hours and 40 minutes) and direct messages (14 minutes). It also responded to the highest percentage of user comments (35%).
Other sectors with fast response times were airlines, financial sector companies, and ecommerces. In contrast, the alcohol and beverage sectors were among the slowest to respond.
This data suggests that service-based industries have put the most effort into customer service on social channels.
Facebook Ads Trends in 2021
9. Global Spending on Social Ads Increased by 50% Annually
According to the Emplifi study, the changes in online habits caused by the pandemic are here to stay and brands are increasingly relying on social media marketing.
If you compare the first and second quarters of 2021, the growth in investment in Facebook Ads is only 3.2%. But if you look at last year's figures, you find that marketers have invested 49.9% more compared to Q2 of 2020.
10. Higher CPCs and Stable CTRs
Compared to the beginning of the pandemic, the cost of advertising has increased. Globally, the cost per click increased by 85.1% annually in the second quarter of 2021.
This cost means more pressure for marketers, who have to make the right decisions to avoid wasting budget. Fortunately, Facebook Ads CTR has remained very stable, which tells us that the ads continue to deliver value to users.
11. Facebook Ads Reach Decreases by 12% Per Year
According to Emplifi data, Facebook Ads reach decreased by 12.4% since the second quarter of last year. However, this figure is not considered alarming, as it rose by 30% between 2019 and 2020 partly due to the confinement and greater use of digital platforms. In any case, marketers should be aware of this Facebook trend and adjust their strategies accordingly.
12. News Feed and Instream Video Offer the Best CTRs
More than half of social ad spend goes to the Facebook News Feed, followed by the Instagram feed, Instagram Stories, Facebook video feeds and Facebook instream video.
In terms of effectiveness, Facebook instream video has the highest CTR (0.33%), followed by Facebook's news feed (0.29%).
Conclusion: Facebook's Biggest Trends for 2022 and Beyond
The engagement gap between Facebook and Instagram continues to widen. Users interact much more with live video than with traditional content formats. Brands should take this trend into account and incorporate video and live streaming into their Facebook and Instagram strategies.
Customer service is a key aspect of social media. More and more customers are turning to Facebook and Instagram to solve their problems, so brands should evaluate their processes to ensure faster responses and solutions. One possible option may be to automate some of the customer services through chatbots and other AI solutions.
The most important Facebook Ads trend is rising costs and decreasing reach, which increases difficulties for marketers. To get the most out of budgets, it is critical to send messages to the right customers at the right time.
To achieve better results with Facebook Ads, it is necessary to focus on designing ads and content that resonates with your target audience and responds to their needs. To do this, it is essential to know your ideal customers in-depth and know what they expect from their interactions with brands on social networks.