Digiday+ Research: Agencies are more likely to use Instagram for clients, but it loses brand-building clout

The header image is an illustration of the Meta or Facebook and Instagram icons atop a pile of gold coins.

This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →

Social media must be part of the conversation for agencies that work with clients on content strategies. Purchases made through social media posts are on the rise, while many marketers are pivoting their Instagram and Facebook strategies away from sales to focus on brand awareness.

Digiday+ Research surveyed agency executives to learn more about how they are using Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms for their clients.

It turns out that agencies are more likely to use Instagram for their clients than Facebook. Last year, among 100 agency professionals surveyed by Digiday, 86% said they had posted content to Facebook in the past month on behalf of their clients and 84% said they did so on Instagram.

This year, however, Instagram held steady, with 84% of the 69 agency pros surveyed in June saying they had posted there in the past month on behalf of their clients, while the percentage of those posting to Facebook fell to 81%.

Instagram taking the top spot from Facebook among agency execs posting on social media on behalf of clients begs the question: Why are agencies now more likely to use Instagram for their clients? One potential answer is that Instagram has emerged as the most valuable platform for driving revenue for agencies’ clients. Of the 51 agency execs who told Digiday they post on social media on behalf of their clients, 65% said Instagram is valuable or extremely valuable to driving revenue. Meanwhile, Facebook and YouTube rounded out the top three among survey respondents, at 62% and 58%, respectively.

In a bit of a surprising turn of events, though, it turns out that agencies no longer consider Instagram to be the most valuable platform for building clients’ brands. In fact, the percentage of respondents to Digiday’s survey who said Instagram is valuable or extremely valuable fell from 87% last year to 75% this year, among 69 agency pros and 51 agency pros, respectively. Meanwhile, those who said Facebook is valuable or extremely valuable for brand-building held steady from last year (78%) to this year (79%) – making Facebook this year’s most valuable platform for building clients’ brands, according to agency execs.

What platforms audiences – especially young ones – actually engage with can depend on who you ask. And bringing the role of creators into the conversation can take it in a whole different direction. But when it comes to whether Instagram or Facebook ends up on top among agency execs representing their clients, it is clear that parent company Meta maintains its stronghold among social media platforms.


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