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Social ad spend continues to accelerate in South East Asia


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

November 10, 2021 | 5 min read

Ad spending on Facebook and Instagram in South East Asia increased 36.4% year-on-year during the third quarter of 2021 to $2,409.94 per ad account per month.


In Asia, the year-on-year ad spend growth in the accommodation sector increased a staggering 93.95%

In Singapore, social ad spending surged 34.3% year-on-year to $2,131.06 per ad account per month, according to Emplifi’s ‘State of Social Media and CX’ report for Q3 2021.

“While it’s true brands are having to invest more of their advertising dollars to reach consumers across social media platforms, there are still massive opportunities for B2C advertisers when it comes to using live video within their social media marketing and social commerce initiatives,” said Zarnaz Arlia, chief marketing officer at Emplifi.

“Live video experiences on Facebook and Instagram are giving advertisers a new and fresh way to connect with their primary audiences, offering real-time conversation capabilities that drive measurable e-commerce gains.”

She added: “Consumers want a seamless shopping experience, from product discovery through purchase. Social commerce enables brands to sell their products directly in an app where the consumer is already shopping. The brands that understand the value in meeting customers where they are – on social platforms – will gain a significant competitive edge in the coming months. This is especially true for the brands that enable features like live video to create more impactful experiences, and integrate sophisticated customer experience (CX) tools to elevate and enhance the customer journey.”

What did the report find?

  • Global ad spend on Facebook and Instagram grew 43.4% year-on-year during the third quarter of 2021, fueled by a 10.5% growth between Q2 and Q3.

  • As ad spend increased, advertising costs also continued to climb with cost-per-clicks (CPCs) reaching their highest level since late 2020. In Singapore, CPC grew 34.3% year-on-year.

  • Facebook ad investments represent a clear sign of the times, with ad spend connected to the accommodation industry experiencing 94% growth year-on-year as countries reopen their borders and travel resumes across the globe.

  • In Asia, the year-on-year ad spend growth in the accommodation sector increased a staggering 93.95%.

  • Advertisers’ click-through-rates (CTRs) have remained stable, with only slight fluctuations since this time last year. The report shows Facebook ad reach globally took a notable turn in the right direction, climbing 3.7% year-on-year – a slight increase, but a stark contrast to the 12.4% drop reported last quarter.

  • At the regional level, although SEA reported a year-on-year decrease of 4%, this was an improvement compared to the 17.5% drop last year.

  • On the organic side of social media trends, Facebook Instream Live Videos by brands generated three times more engagement with fans and followers compared to other types of posts.

  • Brands in Asia were most likely to go live compared to their counterparts. The report found data showing that the proportion of brands in Asia that went live on Facebook in Q3 2021 was 12%, the highest across all examined regions.

  • The report’s data shows that Facebook Instream Video and Facebook News Feed rank as the top ad placements in CTR for both Facebook and Instagram ads globally, a notable data point for any brand looking to increase their social commerce efforts.

  • For the brands that do go live on Facebook, those in the beauty, gambling and e-commerce industry are generating the highest number of comments and interactions compared to other industries.

  • Overall, organic social media engagement patterns are shifting, as consumers turn to social platforms more frequently for customer support. As a result, brands are speeding up their response times to customer service inquiries coming in via social platforms.

  • The report’s data shows multiple industries improved their response times on Facebook during Q3, as more consumers rely on social media for customer care.

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