Social networks offer brands and businesses a new medium for communicating their messages.
But what posts should they promote on social media, i.e. amplify with paid advertising? The answer: brands and marketers should only pay to promote their most popular content.
The “multiplier,” or audience increase, seen by popular posts is much higher than for less popular content. For posts reaching 10,000 users organically, paid promotion can lead to 87-times more reach, compared to only a two-fold multiplier for posts reaching ~1,400 users. Marketers should test their content without paid media, and then allocate dollars according to results.
This is one of the findings highlighted in new data from BI Intelligence on social media advertising. It also finds that in part because of increased effectiveness, US social-media ad spend will top $8.5 billion this year and reach nearly $14 billion in 2018, up from just $6.1 billion in 2013.
In the report and associated PowerPoint presentation, BI Intelligence looks at all the numbers and explores the drivers of social ad adoption.
Here are some of the other key takeaways:
- Social-media advertising spend will grow rapidly through 2018. It’s up 40% this year and will top $8.5 billion, growing to nearly $14 billion in 2018, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%.
- Social media ad spend has reached the mobile-tipping point. Spending on mobile social-media ads, including mobile app-install ads, will surpass non-mobile spend by the end of this year in the US. In 2018, two-thirds of social-media ad spend will go to mobile, creating a $9.1 billion social-mobile market.
- Mobile app-install ads and programmatic buying are also growth drivers. Analyses suggest that mobile app-install ads could account for anywhere from one-quarter to more than one-half of Facebook’s mobile ad revenues.
- Social programmatic ad platforms are also growth engines. Spending on FBX, Facebook’s programmatic platform, increased by 150% year-over-year globally during the second quarter of 2014, based on a sample of advertisers compiled by Ignition One.
- Prices are increasing as performance and targeting improve, even as ad loads stay steady on the established platforms. Facebook, for example, is not likely to increase the amount of in-feed native ads an average user will see.
- The market is expanding with the introduction of paid ad units at Pinterest and Instagram.