Facebook’s cost per click dropped 40 percent over the past 12 months, while the click-through rate for advertising on the social network soared by 275 percent, and return on investment was up 58 percent, according to a study of some 131 billion Facebook ad impressions, 400 million unique visitors, more than 1 billion posts, and 4.3 billion engagements over the past 12 months by Adobe.
Other findings by Adobe from its first annual Social Media Intelligence report included:
- Ad click volume rose 29 percent, with ad impressions growing 85 percent, and cost per thousand impressions (CPM) soaring by 120 percent.
- Revenue per visit rose just 39 percent for Facebook, while Twitter saw a 300 percent leap and Pinterest jumped by 150 percent.
- Facebook still leads in social referrals to retailer sites, but its share of referral traffic is down 20 percent, while Twitter’s is up 258 percent and Pinterest’s is up 84 percent.
- Social engagement on Facebook rose 115 percent, while the total number of posts by brands was up 9 percent.
- Likes represent 87 percent of all social engagement, but comments and shares outpaced likes year-over-year.
- Brand posts containing images saw engagement rates 600 percent higher than text-based posts.
- Geo-targeted posts were up 67 percent.
- Positive social sentiment is almost 10 percent higher in the U.K. than in the U.S. and Australia. It was up 9 percent year-over-year in the U.S.
Adobe concluded in a blog post about the Social Media Intelligence report:
Heading into the critical holiday shopping season, social media looks poised to take a much bigger share of marketing investments versus last year. Marketers are getting smarter with the ways they are engaging consumers on the social networks, and ramping up investments in paid social to help amplify. With increasing CTRs, decreasing CPCs, and with engagement on posts on Facebook up year-over-year, this is an excellent time to ramp up ad offerings. And with other platforms gaining share from Facebook, brands will expand social media programs to include a variety of sites.
Marketers should be cautious, however, not to overuse text posts, and the abundance of these posts will likely become less impactful over time. Although it costs more, video postings will be more engaging. Marketers will want to plan ahead and dedicate more resources to managing social media content. Tracking social ROI remains difficult, as the data are still held in silos and attribution algorithms are nascent in their design and availability. There is still tremendous upside potential for social media, and we will bring you the results from the holiday shopping season on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
And Adobe Digital Index Principal Analyst Tamara Gaffney told AllFacebook in an interview that the changes Facebook has been making to its advertising products are starting to show their effects on advertisers’ metrics now, adding that marketers are able to better target their campaigns, and overall, they possess better technology to improve their paid social efforts. She added in a release announcing the report:
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. 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.
Readers: What did you think of Adobe’s findings?