Today, brand guardians and media pundits will discover that ad spend dollars are maximized on mega social sites, effecting the bottom line investment for their company. And that ROI (return on investment) is qualitative and delivers amplified quants. Adobe’s 2013 Social Intelligence Report shows that if campaigns spend on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumbler, marketers can see brand influencers and audience gain. Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) released its first annual Social Media Intelligence report examining paid, earned and owned social media trends.
Social marketing continues to gain traction and involvement for big brand companies to connect with their audiences and key customers. If you engage with the social web like I do, you may have clicked on a sponsored link on Twitter, an inline ad with Facebook, or retail placement on Pinterest. For chief marketing officers and social strategists, this is key to unlocking new social trends and building customer relationships. The ultimate payoff is brand loyalty and the bottom line is business results.
Social media is rapidly maturing as a marketing channel, bolstered by the steps Facebook and Twitter have taken to make their audiences more accessible to marketers,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index. “Recognizing the opportunity, marketers are optimizing their campaigns for social channels, and as a result consumers are now using social media much more in their purchasing process. We expect this trend to accelerate during the holiday season.”
To cite directly from the report, the three key findings are:
• Paid Social Trends: Facebook is becoming increasingly attractive to brand marketers with ad click volume increasing by 29 percent year over year (YoY). In addition, ad impressions grew by 85 percent YoY and cost per thousand impressions of an ad (CPM) increased by 120 percent.
• Owned Social Trends: Revenue per Visit (RPV) rose YoY illustrating an increase in value for social media marketing. RPV grew 39 percent for Facebook, 300 percent for Twitter and 150 percent for Pinterest. Facebook is still the leader for social referrals to retail sites, but Facebook’s share in referral traffic is down 20 percent from 77 percent in 2012 while the share for Twitter and Pinterest increased by 258 percent and 84 percent, respectively.
• Earned Social Trends: Social engagement on Facebook grew by 115 percent while the number of brand postings increased by 9 percent YoY. Brand posts containing an image produced an engagement rate 600 percent higher than text-based posts. In addition, Tumblr earned the most positive sentiment of all social platforms.
I spoke with Joe Martin, analyst, Adobe Digital Index, who remarked on the progress Adobe has made with this robust report. He believes that social media has been under attributed. “We wanted to look at the entire customer journey,” he said, “Let’s say you see a product from Zappos on Tumblr and you click on that ad, then three days later you search on Google for the same product, go to the site and purchase that product. From the first click to the last click, a social marketer has lost important data where the trail shows a Google search instead of knowing that the purchase came from the ad placement on Tumblr. Here we found that a bridge needs to be built for a smarter social web interaction.” Google recently changed their algorithms and introduced the enhanced search. Martin goes on to say that the team had a case study where a user had over 600 clicks before they bought by that product they have seen on the social web and Google’s search strategy may assist a pure product purchasing power.
Just as much as a mobile or Internet user is unique, so are the social web attributes of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Think of each social web outlet as your favorite cable or network channel, i.e. Bravo, NBC or Bloomberg. Audience loyalty and engagement are as distinct as your personality. Social sentiment shows Tumblr is known as a perfect place for brand showcasing, without rants or unfavorable comments that can happen on other sites. This kind of social buzz is more likely to occur on other social web outlets.
This report is based on consumer data to brand sites during 2012 and 2013. It is comprised of aggregated and anonymous data from retail, media and entertainment, and travel websites. Ad data does not included re-targeted ads on social networks.
Sample information includes:
• 131 billion Facebook ad impressions
• 400 million unique visitors to social sites
• 1.04 billion Facebook posts
• 4.3 billion Facebook comments, shares, and likes
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