SINGAPORE — Customer engagement platform Emplifi has released its “Unleashing the Power of Video: Key Trends Driving Social Media Engagement” report, offering marketers deep insights on Q2 2023 social media behavior and trends. One of the most significant findings from the report is the success of Instagram Reels compared to other short-form video content. According to Emplifi’s global data, Instagram Reels outperform all other content types on the social app, generating 55% more interactions than single-image posts on Instagram and 29% more interactions than standard video posts.
“Because the social media landscape is evolving and changing at such a rapid pace, it’s crucial marketers have access to insights that can help them earn the biggest bang for their marketing bucks. A key insight from this report is that despite an ongoing decline in engagement on Instagram last quarter, the platform still delivers the highest engagement rates for brands compared to Facebook and Twitter,” said Chief Marketing Officer of Emplifi, Zarnaz Arlia.
Another interesting finding from the report involves Twitter verification trends by brands worldwide. After analyzing more than 40,000 brand Twitter accounts, Emplifi discovered 4% were verified on April 11, a week before the platform began charging an $8 USD per month subscription fee for its Twitter Blue status. By June 30, that number more than doubled to 9% of brands having the Twitter Blue verification badge.
Here are the top takeaways from Emplifi’s Q2 2023 Social Media Trends Report:
Instagram for Brands: A High-Level Overview
Instagram Reels and Instagram Carousels (multi-image posts) are the top-performing content for brands on the platform worldwide. Specifically in the Asia-Pacific region, Reels shared by brands earned 68.25 media interactions per post in Q2, and Carousels earned 66.5 median post interactions.
Interestingly, when looking at Instagram ads globally, only 11% are Reels placements—still, 87% of brands used Instagram Reels for ad placements, at least once in Q2 2023, representing a 26% increase year-over-year. Overall, Instagram Reels usage by brands is up 86% compared to Q2 2022, with 90% of brands posting, at least, one Reel in Q2 of this year.
It would be remiss not to point out the fact that Instagram Reels engagement has been trending downward for the last five quarters, dropping 30% year-over-year in Q2 2023. The competition for engagement on the platform is steep, not to mention the recent deprioritization of Reels by Meta, Instagram’s parent company. These data points make clear how important it is for brands to diversify their social content, embracing more than one channel for their video marketing efforts.
Facebook Reels: Still Playing Catch Up
While Instagram Reels are exploding, Facebook Reels are not seeing the same traction. In APAC, Facebook Live Video dominates all other video content on the platform, earning nearly four times the number of interactions compared to static video posts. (It’s worth noting that Facebook Reels have not been around as long as Instagram Reels, having been released two years after Instagram launched its most popular video format. As more brands cross-post their Instagram Reel content to Facebook, marketers may see a shift in engagement.)
While organic Facebook Reels still need time to catch up in Asia, the content format is making strides globally when it comes to ad placements – 31% of brands used Facebook Reels for ad placement in Q2 2022. That number jumped to 82% during the same time period this year, representing an astounding 166% jump in usage.
What’s Happening on Twitter?
With all the recent changes happening on Twitter, the platform has been a hot topic among social media marketers and advertisers. For APAC brands wanting to make the most of their activity on the social network, Emplif’s data found that Tweets containing GIFs earned 2.4 times as many interactions as those with links and 1.85 times more than text-based status updates.
TikTok vs Instagram Reels
TikTok user growth is continuing to soar. Emplifi’s global data revealed that the average brand saw a five-fold increase in TikTok followers in Q2 2023. While its ability to gain new users is impressive, Instagram Reels is still outperforming TikTok content when comparing median reach, median interactions, and median video views. Meanwhile, TikTok wins in terms of median engagement rates when compared to Instagram Reels.
“It is time marketers fully embrace their video efforts, and that means everything from Instagram Reels and Facebook Live Video to TikTok content and even GIFs on Twitter. Short-form video is exploding and the brands that lean into this trend will gain a major competitive edge,” said Zarnaz. “As a leading customer engagement platform, we know that implementing a successful video strategy takes time. That’s why we devote so much of our efforts to creating these reports and sharing this data, we want to help marketers by giving them a headstart on developing social media strategies that will deliver measurable impact.”
Emplifi’s report also includes actionable social media marketing tips based on the findings, serving as a cheat sheet for social media marketers wanting to boost their brand’s social efforts.