APAC social media ad spend on the rise but engagement falling

Overall social media ad spend in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region has been significantly higher than a year ago, but social engagement patterns are flat or declining according to a new report.

The findings come from customer experience platform Emplifi’s Q1 2022 analysis of social media spend across thousands of brands worldwide, including those in the APAC region.

According to the research, the average monthly ad spend on Facebook and Instagram per brand in APAC decreased by 18.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2022. However, the year-on-year (y/y) ad spend saw an eight per cent surge to USD 1500. Global average monthly ad spend per brand was USD 3631 in Q1 2022, down 19 per cent from its end-of-year high during the Q4 2021 holiday season, but is still a nearly 21 per cent increase over Q1 2021’s average of just over USD 3000.

“Marketers still view paid social media as an integral part of the marketing mix, and are willing to pay a premium to reach their audiences,”d Emplifi CMO, Zarnaz Arlia, said. “Despite the drop in ad spend following the holiday season, brands spend is up versus the same period last year.”

The report also notes that ad budgets are up, but actions are down. While y/y median ad monthly spend in APAC increased despite a 5.89 per cent increase in cost-per-click (CPC), click-through rates (CTR) decreased by 4.45 per cent from the previous quarter and 5.84 per cent y/y.

In addition, the report reveals that the ability of brands to respond to customer questions on social is a key differentiator between the platforms. Response rate of brands in APAC is the highest on Facebook, more than 80 per cent of direct messages are responded to in less than an hour. Instagram’s response rate was the lowest at 45 per cent, with a response time of 4.1 hours. Twitter had a higher response rate (71 per cent) but was the slowest to respond at 5.1 hours.

“Consumers in APAC have high expectations when it comes to receiving customer support through social channels, they want real time responses and shorter waiting time to get resolutions,” Arlia said. “While response rates are high on Facebook and Twitter, brands must still do more to ensure all social channels are addressed equally. Investing in and improving social customer care will help brands gain and retain market share.”