APAC Social Media Ad Spend Up 8% Year-on-Year, But Engagement Flat or Declining

emplifi social customer care

Emplifi, the leading unified customer experience (CX) platform, today revealed the findings of its Q1 2022 analysis of social media spend across thousands of brands worldwide including those in Asia Pacific (APAC).

While overall social media ad spend decreased in the first quarter following an impressive holiday showing, it remains significantly higher than a year ago. At the same time, however, social engagement patterns are flat or declining.

According to Emplifi’s most recent findings, average monthly ad spend on Facebook and Instagram per brand in APAC decreased 18.5% in the first quarter of 2022. However, the year- on-year (YoY) ad spend saw an 8% surge to USD1,500. Southeast Asia (SEA) saw a similar trend, with a 10% decline in quarterly ad spends but a 20% YoY jump to USD1,802.

Global average monthly ad spend per brand was USD3,631 in Q1 2022, down 19% from its end- of-year high during the Q4 2021 holiday season. Still, that marks a nearly 21% increase over Q1 2021’s average of just over USD3,000.

“Marketers still view paid social media as an integral part of the marketing mix, and are willing to pay a premium to reach their audiences,” said Emplifi CMO, Zarnaz Arlia. “Despite the drop in ad spend following the holiday season, brands spend is up versus the same period last year.”

Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia

Other key findings from the report:

  • Ad budgets are up, but actions are down. YoY median ad monthly spend in APAC increased despite a 5.89% increase in cost-per-click (CPC). Meanwhile, click-through rates (CTR) decreased by 4.45% from the previous quarter and 5.84% YoY.
  • Facebook continues its slide. The median number of interactions with Facebook posts (likes, comments, shares) in APAC declined by 18% YoY. In January 2021, the platform was seeing a median of 7.13 interactions per 1,000 impressions; a year later that number dropped to 5.84. Still, that’s better than Facebook’s historic low of 5.22 interactions in Q4 2021.
  • Instagram is holding steady. By contrast, Instagram posts saw a minimal rise, achieving a median of just over 31 interactions per 1,000 impressions. Numbers have remained relatively consistent over the past year at about 30 to 31 interactions.
  • Posting Instagram stories in bulk helps boost engagement. Emplifi data also suggests that publishing multiple Instagram stories in a five-minute window results in lower exit rates and higher levels of users tapping back to rewatch posts. Length of videos, story order, and time of posting can also impact exit rates and tap backs.
  • Live video is most engaging. In terms of organic performance in APAC, live video ranks the highest for audience engagement on Facebook with 42 median post interactions. Whereas on Instagram, carousel (67 interactions) and images (56 interactions) perform well.
  • Brand social care matters. The ability of brands to respond to customer questions on social is a key differentiator between the platforms. Response rate of brands in APAC is the highest on Facebook, more than 80% of direct messages are responded to in less than an hour. Instagram’s response rate was the lowest at 45%, with a response time of 4.1 hours. Twitter had a higher response rate (71%), but was the slowest to respond at 5.1 hours.

“Consumers in APAC have high expectations when it comes to receiving customer support through social channels, they want real time responses and shorter waiting time to get resolutions,” says Arlia. “While response rates are high on Facebook and Twitter, brands must still do more to ensure all social channels are addressed equally. Investing in and improving social customer care will help brands gain and retain market share.”


  • Emplifi’s analysis is based on Q1 2022 data and year-on-year comparisons downloaded at the beginning of April 2022. You can read the findings here.
  • Asia Pacific countries included in this report: American Samoa, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Norfolk Island, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna

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