Social Platforms

December 20, 2015

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As social media matures to become full-fledged media platforms that leverage mobile and video innovations, brands must decide where to focus their attention and money. The third annual L2 Intelligence Report: Social Platforms assesses the performance of 442 brands across 9 verticals on 13 platforms. Our aim is to provide data, best practices, and case studies to help managers make informed decisions on where to invest their media budget.


Findings

Out of google into facebook

Facebook’s advertising revenue has increased dramatically over the past few years, with a total of $2.9 billion reported in Q2 2015. What’s more significant is where the revenue is coming from—76 percent of its total advertising revenue derives from mobile advertising . Facebook is taking a piece of the digital ad pie from other players by offering unrivaled, innovating ad products that include Atlas and seamless ads optimized for mobile consumption.

Net Digital Ad Revenue Share

Net Digital Ad Revenue Share

Percent of Total Digital Ad Spending Worldwide by Company

2014

2015

Instagram overtakes facebook

In Q3 2014, Instagram overtook Facebook in average brand post frequency, as brands shifted to view Facebook as a traditional media platform and Instagram as a platform to build community. In the past year, this trend has continued and the gap between the platforms has widened. The average brand now posts about 10 times each week on Instagram, compared with about once a day on Facebook. It’s important to note that brands are not yet seeing the same post fatigue on Instagram as they did on Facebook—followers are not becoming disengaged with more brand content.

Average Brand Post Frequency, by Quarter

Average Brand Post Frequency, by Quarter

Facebook vs. Instagram, Q4 2013–Q2 2015, n=190 Brands

Instagram

evolving strategies

To understand how the social platforms landscape has continued to shift, L2 analyzed the changing strategies of four luxury brands: Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Louboutin. While Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton all show similar trends in platform usage and interaction, Louboutin exists as a compelling outlier. Louboutin’s strategy demonstrates the efficacy of Instagram as an organic platform and reinforces the conclusion that the platform remains the best place to play for brands with smaller media budgets.

Share of Total Interactions by Brand by Platform

Share of Total Interactions by Brand by Platform

September 1, 2012 – August 31, 2015, n=7 Social Accounts

YouTube

Instagram

As one of the most successful brands in online video, Chanel’s strategy has consistently focused on YouTube, which accounts for the large majority of the brand’s interactions—capitalizing on the interplay between great video content and a strong TV strategy. Although Chanel was late to join Instagram, first posting on its account in October 2014, the brand saw immediate success on the platform, which now accounts for 13 percent of all Chanel interactions.

some voices are louder than others

Most brands are global, which requires significant investments in local platforms to reach every audience. Many rely on local Facebook pages but do not realize the limit to its reach. While brands are posting on localized accounts, the number of interactions under-index given the number of posts for all countries excluding the US and Brazil. For some markets, investing in Facebook is not the solution to garnering engagement.

Share of Total Posts & Total Interactions on Facebook by Market

Share of Total Posts & Total Interactions on Facebook by Market

June 1, 2025 – July 31, 2015, n=429 brands, 1,534 Facebook Accounts

U.S.

Canada

Brazil

France

Germany

U.K.

Japan

Russia

South Korea

Social takes on video advertising

Social platforms are beginning to disrupt the media industry as cord cutters reject the traditional TV model and opt for premium options that do not subject them to excessive advertising. Brands are desperate to reach the young and wealthy cohort, and are turning to social media to fill this void. Through rapid video innovation, social media platforms are attempting to service the demand of brands trying to reach this valuable demographic.

Social Video Launches

Social Video Launches

2014 - 2015

Putting it in Perspective

Youtube channels: spend vs. scale

Looking at the Beauty brands in our index, only three brand channels have garnered both above-average total channel views and share of organic views: Chanel, em Cosmetics and YSL Beauty. Over half of the most-viewed videos published in Q1 2015 were repurposed TV advertisements. However, the success of these advertisements is largely spend-dependent. While the top three most-viewed brand advertisements uploaded to YouTube in Q1 2015 generated a combined 15.2 million views, just one percent of these views were organic.

YouTube: Average Organic vs. Total Brand Channel Views

YouTube: Average Organic vs. Total Brand Channel Views

April 2015, n=80 Beauty & Hair Care YouTube Channels

Averages

Organic Views: 51%

Channel Views: 11.7M

Putting it in perspective

The messaging ecosystem may seem fragmented at first glance, with multiple platforms vying for the lion’s share of monthly active users. However, comparing Facebook Inc. owned properties to other messaging platforms reveals that Facebook takes the lead in most countries except for China and Japan. Facebook’s attempt to dominate the messaging market indicates the increasing importance of mobile messaging platforms for the years to come.

Top Mobile Messaging Apps

Top Mobile Messaging Apps

Monthly Active Users, Global, October 2010–February 2014

Features Drive Adoption

When it comes to features, APAC messaging apps lead the pack with their constant innovation. WeChat is not just a messaging platform, but rather a lifestyle app with Uber, loyalty programs, an e-commerce platform, and a P2P payment platform rolled into one. We expect Facebook and other messaging platforms from the U.S. to follow suit.

Features Available on Social-Mobile Messaging Platforms

Features Available on Social-Mobile Messaging Platforms

September 2015

Features Drive Adoption