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SocialMediaExaminer Paid Social Plans Jun2020Last year, social media advertising overtook print to become the third-largest advertising channel across the globe, behind TV and paid search advertising. And, although social media users aren’t quite as keen on Facebook as they used to be, a full 70% of marketers surveyed for a report [download page] by Social Media Examiner say they are regularly using Facebook ads.

Facebook ads usage tends to skew more towards B2C companies, with about three-quarters (74%) advertising on the platform compared to 62% of B2B respondents that do the same. In fact, data from earlier this year shows that Facebook is used by 96% of retail businesses that engage in social media advertising.

Instagram follows its parent company as the second-most popular social platform to advertise on, with 41% of respondents saying they use Instagram ads. It appears that marketers are concentrating most of their paid activities on these two platforms, as far fewer report using platforms such as LinkedIn ads (15%), YouTube ads (14%), Messenger ads (9%) and Twitter ads (8%).

Not only are Facebook ads and Instagram ads used by the largest percentage of marketers, but they are also the leading platforms for future ad increases. Indeed, 55% of marketers say they plan to increase their use of Facebook ads in the near future, and 55% intend to increase their efforts on Instagram ads.

Others intend to up their use of YouTube ads (40%) and LinkedIn ads (38%), although a larger share report they have no plans to use these ad platforms (48% each) anytime soon.

As the newest entrant into the paid social media sphere, one-fifth (21%) of respondents say they want to learn more about TikTok ads and 11% say they plan to increase their use of the platform for ads. But only 5% of respondents are using the platform right now, and 8 in 10 (83%) have no plans to use TikTok advertising in the future.

The lack of interest in TikTok may be a missed opportunity, as figures from Comscore show that adult usage of TikTok has more than doubled in a year. That said, there may be more interest in TikTok as a general marketing platform than as an advertising channel.

What About Organic Reach?

Marketers are essentially split on whether their company’s organic reach has decreased in the past year. While 37% either agree (27%) or strongly agree (10%) that the organic reach of their social activities had declined in the last year, similar percentages disagree (28%) or strongly disagree (7%).

Marketers also seem to have lost some confidence in their ability to measure the ROI from their organic social media activities. Although the largest share (35%) agrees that they are able to measure ROI for these activities (compared to the 30% who disagree), this percentage decreased from 44% in 2019.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 5,243 global marketers, fielded in January 2020.

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