Now more than ever, brands are seeking ways to stay relevant. Marketers must be prepared for every possible scenario as they face varying stages of reopening across regions, as well as a range of preferences from consumers. According to new survey research from social advertising automation platform Smartly.io, consumers are still relying on social media to stay in touch. Specifically, more than half (56 percent) of global respondents and 64 percent of those in the UK said they are using social media to connect with friends and family.
According to the survey, conducted by Dynata, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform. More than one-third of global consumers (38 percent) said they have used Facebook the most during the past 30 days, followed by YouTube (18 percent), and Instagram (15 percent). Additionally, global consumers are most open to receiving video ads on social media right now (27 percent), followed by photo carousels (23 percent), and Stories (19 percent).
“Consumers are anticipating a return to normalcy, which reflects their eagerness to spend,” said Robert Rothschild, CMO, VP & global head of marketing at Smartly.io, in a news release. “For brands, social media provides an opportunity to reach targeted consumers in an impactful way. To be successful, marketing teams must balance their strategy to align with current consumer preferences across platforms, formats, and audiences. Relevant, localized and timely content will be key to winning share in a competitive marketplace.”
Additional key findings from the Smartly.io study include:
Even a year later, pandemic fatigue hasn’t hit consumers yet
More than half of global consumers (51 percent) said they still want brands to acknowledge the pandemic in their ads (for example, safety measures, updated store hours, etc.).
Consumers are opening their wallets…
Thirty-five percent of global consumers said the social media ads they encountered in the last 30 days have spurred them to make a purchase online, up from 26 percent in August 2020 (when Smartly.io previously surveyed consumers).
In addition, thitry-eight percent of global consumers said they would be most open to purchasing clothing/apparel via social media in the next 30 days.
…but are still motivated by deals and discounts
Forty-five percent of global respondents said they would like to see ads with deals and discounts from travel brands. This is particularly high in Australia, where 59 percent of respondents said they’re looking for deals and discounts from travel brands’ advertising.
In addition, fifty-five percent of respondents said they would like to see deals and discounts in advertising from grocery stores, followed by local offers from nearby stores (42 percent).
For this study, Dynata surveyed 1,000 adult consumers to understand their preferences and attitudes towards social media, including channel use, engagement with ads, and purchasing decisions. Respondents were located in the U.S., UK, Germany and Australia and were over the age of 18. The survey was conducted in March 2021.