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The reports come from Adobe and Kenshoo Social, which are both part of Facebook’s Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer program, meaning they drive “outstanding positive impact in [Facebook’s] marketing developer ecosystem.”
The first annual Social Media Intelligence report released Monday by Adobe found that Facebook’s ad clicks, ad impressions and advertisers’ return on investment were all higher in 2013 than in 2012. According to the study, which took into account more than 131 billion Facebook ad impressions and 4.3 billion social engagements, Facebook ads were clicked 29% more often in 2013, and the return to investors was 58% higher than last year.
Other advertising metrics like cost-per-click were lower (by 40%), meaning advertising on Facebook is becoming cheaper and more effective, according to Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst of Adobe’s Digital Index. In some cases, Gaffney said, Facebook and other social platforms like Twitter and Pinterestare being undervalued by marketers using the last click model.
The last click model means that users may see an ad for an item they like on Facebook, then buy it online at a later date without going through Facebook to the retailer’s website. The purchase is still driven by the Facebook ad, but Facebook doesn’t always get the credit.
One of Facebook’s News Feed ads.
A separate study by Kenshoo Social found many of the same ad metric improvements for the company’s Q3 over Q2. According to Kenshoo’s data, which incorporates info from 85 million Facebook ads, ad clicks were up 14%, cost-per-click was down 9% and advertisers’ returns were 3 times higher than the same figures last quarter.
These improvements were similar to Kenshoo’s findings for Facebook ads last quarter. It appears that marketers can expect similar improvements moving ahead into the future.
“Part of the reason Facebook seems to accelerate each quarter is because of adoption,” said Aaron Goldman, Kenshoo CMO. “As more and more advertisers use it, they get more and more signals about how they can improve their ad delivery.”
In other words, the ads are growing more effective over time, according to Goldman.
Facebook is not alone in its social ad success. Adobe’s report found that bothTwitter and Pinterest made significant ground on Facebook in terms of referral traffic to retail sites. Facebook still holds the top spot, but Twitter’s share of referral traffic grew more than 250% last year.
“I had thought that Facebook was running away with the game,” Gaffney said. “What’s coming out of our data set is that Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr are all making inroads themselves in a marketplace that I thought was already [dominated].”
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Image: Facebook(Let), Flickr