Q1 2021 Paid Social Media Recap

Q1 2021 is officially a wrap and as is tradition, Parallel Path has curated the latest news when it comes to all things Paid Social.

Ad Spend Trends

Socialbakers’ data showed Facebook and Instagram ad spend was up 60% year-over-year — an impressive growth rate after a record-setting year for social media ad spend. Facebook’s ad reach grew around the world, up 8% globally and 23% in North America. Advertising costs on social platforms also grew more than 30% as ad space became more competitive. In the U.S. digital ad spending is projected to grow 17% YoY after only 5% growth in 2020, according to estimates from Credit Suisse. Emarketer estimates that total digital ad spending will reach $455.30 billion this year. 

Most Popular Social Apps Q1 2021

Studies show that TikTok was the top mobile app for global downloads in Q1 2021 – followed by Facebook, Instagram. In Q1, the apps with the most active users per month were Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

Now that you know where people are spending their time when it comes to their social media habits, let’s talk about the latest updates. 

Facebook:  Boost with Facebook Program

It’s no secret that with iOS 14 came some changes in the digital marketing world. As a result, Facebook is expanding on its commitment to support small businesses with its Boost With Facebook program, which offers a range of free marketing tools focused on increasing awareness as well as customized marketing plans for small businesses. 

TikTok: Expanding Advertising Offerings

TikTok is rapidly expanding its advertising offerings to compete with established platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Updates include self-service advertising, affiliate links, and in-app brand catalogs. In response to feedback from top creators, TikTok is reportedly exploring the development of in-app and live-stream shopping to compete with Instagram Shops. 

TikTok has also partnered with Samsung to make the app accessible through Samsung’s Smart TVs made after 2018 in both Europe and the US. Notably, Samsung Smart TV owners will not need a TikTok account to view trending content. This opens the door for TikTok advertisers to reach connected TV audiences in the future.  

Pinterest: Announced New Vision

Pinterest hosted its first global advertiser summit in March, where they shared their vision for the future.

Pinterest has 459 million monthly active users and they discussed their growth with Gen Z and men – two demographics they’ve been working to reach. Globally, each of these subsets grew by 40% YoY in 2020, fueling the platform’s substantial growth in adoption. Pinterest also announced their interactive trends tool which allows advertisers to see what their specific audiences are looking for on Pinterest. 

Pinterest promised enhanced shopping experiences for both merchants and Pinners. They elaborated that improved catalog management tools, as well as automated bidding and budgeting solutions, are on the horizon. They also spotlighted an exclusive analytics dashboard for managed advertisers.

Latest with LinkedIn

In late Q4 of 2020 LinkedIn announced the rolling out of their new Company Engagement Reporting. This report shows the number of engagements – including likes, comments, shares – for organic and paid content as well as a total number of visits to a company’s website. 

Other Noteworthy News:

  • Twitter began rolling out Twitter Spaces, a new feature that allows audio conversations similar to the Clubhouse app. 
  • Facebook began a test to bring Instagram’s Reels to the News Feed.
  • Instagram introduced Live Rooms, which increased the maximum number of hosts on its live video product from two to four. 
  • Snapchat rolled out its TikTok-like Spotlight feed to more countries.

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