Social media more important in economic uncertainty

Photo by ArtHouse Studio

The APAC edition of Meltwater’s State of Social Media 2023 report found that businesses in the region are increasing their social media investments amid economic uncertainties. 

According to the study, 3 in 5 marketers and communication professionals in APAC regard social media as more important for their organisation due to economic uncertainties. On average, 34% of their total marketing budget will be invested in social media, with as many as 77% of respondents planning to increase spends or keep them intact. 

Other key findings:

  • 42% are currently running a social listening programme and an additional 15% plan to do so in 2023, with the goal of improving their understanding of audiences and target groups (64%). 
  • Five channels dominated the APAC social landscape in 2022: Facebook (87%) is the most used social media platform for APAC marketers followed by Instagram (81%), Linkedin (81%), Youtube (64%), and Twitter (50%). 
  • Comparatively, TikTok has yet to be leveraged at the same rate, with only 29% using the platform.

These findings are corroborated by the Digital 2023 report, which found that the majority of 16-64 year olds use Instagram and Facebook to research brands. Despite TikTok’s low usage rates, it is fast emerging as the channel of choice, with 41% of participants stating that they plan to establish a presence on TikTok this year.

This is not surprising given that TikTok enjoyed the highest average monthly use per Android user over the course of 2022.

“The average internet user actively uses about 7.2 social media platforms each month. Audiences are not always where you expect and marketers now have stronger social listening tools to find and understand them. For instance, even Reddit and Twitch can now be analysed through third-party social listening tools,” says Mimrah Mahmood, Senior Director and Partner at Meltwater Asia-Pacific. 

“With a huge amount of consumer data available these days, it is now possible to segment audiences in far more sophisticated ways. Marketers need to go beyond demographics and look at communities. Social media data can reveal how people form ‘digital tribes’ based on their shared attitudes, behaviours, and interests, allowing marketers to make more strategic decisions.” 

The APAC State of Social report also identified video content as a top marketing trend in 2023. Alongside TikTok, 23% and 21% of marketers and communication professionals intend to use Instagram and Youtube in their marketing strategies for the year.

Mahmood adds, “Short-form videos such as Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts are effective new formats that marketers should incorporate moving forward.  In 2024, we expect to see more social commerce features, including paid ads, and purchase capabilities woven into these formats in response to consumers seeking more seamless shopping experiences.”