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Digiday+ Research: More agencies are posting on social every day – but is it just for show?

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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 →

The prevalence of social media in consumers’ everyday lives has only grown in recent years. So it makes sense that agencies would follow that trend on behalf of their clients and see corresponding gains regarding revenues and brand-awareness. Right?

Digiday+ Research surveyed 51 agency professionals in June and found that more are posting on social media on behalf of their clients on a daily basis than were doing so last year. But the survey results failed to reveal why, as it actually turns out that social platforms haven’t made gains when it comes to driving revenues or building brands for agency pros’ clients.

The number of agency execs who said they post on Instagram every day on behalf of their clients remained flat from last year to this year, Digiday’s survey found. But Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all saw meaningful gains: 40% of respondents said they post on Facebook every day, compared with 33% last year, and YouTube and Twitter saw the biggest jumps, increasing from 19% to 33% and 29% to 40%, respectively.

However, Digiday’s survey also found that there is no meaningful difference this year in the number of agency pros who said those same social media platforms are valuable for driving revenues for their clients or building their clients’ brands. If anything, respondents said they find the platforms less valuable this year, which begs the question: Why are agencies putting more resources into posting on social media every day?

Facebook and Twitter saw almost no change in the percentage of agency pros who said the platforms are valuable for driving revenues for their clients: 62% of respondents said Facebook is valuable for revenue-driving this year, compared with 60% last year, and 20% said Twitter is valuable to driving revenues this year, compared with 21% last year. Instagram and YouTube saw a slightly larger difference, but still not a significant one: 65% of agency pros said Instagram is valuable for driving revenues this year, compared with 61% last year, and YouTube saw a slight gain from 54% last year to 58% this year.

Adding to the mystery are Digiday’s survey results regarding brand-building: Three of the four social media platforms actually saw their brand-building values drop in the eyes of agency respondents in 2022. This year, 75% of agency pros said Instagram was valuable for building their clients’ brands, down from 87% last year. YouTube’s results were down from 79% last year to 71% this year, and Twitter dropped from 45% to 37%. The number of agency pros who said Facebook is valuable for building their clients’ brands remained flat: 78% last year compared with 79% this year.

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