The eMarketer Social Media Advertising Effectiveness Scorecard Study
Between August and September 2015, eMarketer asked agency and marketing executives from 29 companies to evaluate paid social ad effectiveness overall and to grade six properties:
The Overall Grade
Each social media platform was given a grade on how well they meet specifically outlined goals, and each goal was also given a “class average” grade. Through this process, eMarketer identified that the 6 properties can be broken down into two ranks based on their social advertising scores. The first, categorized as the “Big Three”, includes Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, leaving Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat to be distinguished as the “Emerging Three”. The major differentiator between the two ranks is their ability to measure and report. However, when scoring the “Big Three”, executives weren’t overwhelmingly impressed with the current analytics and reporting capabilities the “Big Three” offer.
Creative Capabilities: All platforms scored a B or higher in this category, except LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a network for professionals, not a platform stuffed with colorful ads and deals that cater to the masses.
Ad Targeting: Facebook takes the cake in the ad targeting category and is the only social advertising platform to score an A. However, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t far behind. Executives noted that the “Emerging Three” new social advertising platforms are still figuring out how to “slice and dice their data”, so in time their platforms should be at the Facebook ad targeting level (or beyond!).
Measurement and Analytics: All surveyed executives agree that measurement and analytics are the two areas where all social media advertising platforms can improve. These areas are HUGE for the growth of social media platforms moving forward.
Building Brand Awareness and Engagement: All platforms all winners here! Historically, the evergreen and ever-changing nature of social media has proven across all platforms to be a great tool for branding and/or engagement. Consumers estimate they see a total of 86 sponsored social messages per month across all platforms – or about 3 messages a day.
Driving Actions: Now more than ever, advertisers are finding more success in driving actions through social advertising. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in particular score high in this class through their actionable CTA buttons and rich pins. 1/3 of retailers expect a year over year increase in revenues from social media.
Driving Sales: Executives felt strongly that Facebook and Pinterest really can drive sales. Snapchat scores lowest in this category (unsurprisingly), as the platform doesn't offer direct e-commerce capabilities, and serves primarily to build brand recognition. Again, as networks realize the essential need to update their platforms to optimize for things such as conversions and sales, we will see these grades increase. The largest number of retailers attributed between 5% to 20% of sales to social commerce, and the average order value from a social media purchase continues to rise. Instagram’s average order value banks in at $65.00, followed by Pinterest at $58.85, and Facebook at $55.00.
2015 paved the way for paid social media. 52% of companies have a sponsored social budget and find social ads to be one of the top 3 most effective marketing investments they’ve made. The networks have transitioned from organic channels to pay-to-play models, and brands were quick to adopt the new marketing strategy. As the need for social media adverting increases, the social networks have been tasked to keep up with The Joneses. Social media advertising is an extremely new vertical and all the players will have to scramble to keep up with the demands of the consumers, as well as their peers (or competitors). Although Facebook is flexing its paid media power, other social networks are hitting the gym and following pace. Although it may seem like some platforms are just simply “better” than others for social advertising, it really means that they have more room for improvement and growth. Here why we know this: social advertising is working. Brands trust it and are actively using it.
So, Where Do You Start?
Well, start with us! Flying Point Digital designs, develops, and executes viral social campaigns across all 6 platforms and focuses specifically on social media paid solutions to further connect your brand with its consumers. We promise an A+ job.