The Social Media Advertising Revolution

What started as simply entertainment and social networking tools have transformed into an incredibly powerful platform for businesses to market (or remarket) themselves. According to statista.com, social media advertising revenue is forecast to hit almost $31 billion in 2016. Compare that to 2010’s “meager” $7.3 billion, and it’s more than quadrupled in six short years.

The Social Media Advertising Revolution

Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. LinkedIn. Instagram. Snapchat. Google+. The list goes on and on. While you may not be on all (or any) of these social media platforms for personal use, utilizing some of them for your business should be a vital part of your marketing strategy.

While those numbers are eye-popping, the figures for the United States specifically are even more incredible. First, a bit of context. The USA has a population of roughly 324 million people right now. The entire world population is just about 7.33 billion. So the US is about 4.4% of the world’s population.

However, in social media advertising, the United States contributes more than $9.4 billion to that $31 billion global figure. That’s 30.3%! That means the US accounts for almost 700% of social media advertising when comparing its population vs. global statistics.

Have those flashy numbers grabbed your attention yet? The bottom line is, your company should absolutely be investing in social media marketing. Even if it’s simply promoting your brand, you’ve got every reason to take advantage of one of the fastest growing advertising markets in the world.

If you aren’t there yet, don’t worry, because here’s the surprising part. As of November 2015, social media ads accounted for just 14% of the entire digital ad spend. While that number is constantly rising, don’t feel too bad if you haven’t gotten heavily involved at present. You’re certainly not alone.

But that is no reason for complacency. Now is definitely the time to stop waiting and start acting. Currently, more than 75% of all internet users visit at least one social media platform. Going even further, 20% of all minutes spent online, in the world, are spent on social media.

I know, I know, I keep bombarding you with these general statistics, but how does it specifically apply to digital marketing?

Well, for starters, digital advertisers have ranked social media marketing as one of the most successful forms of advertising strategy they currently implement or plan to implement. Over 70% rate it as effective or very effective.

Whether you’re B2B or B2C, utilizing social media has some distinct advantages. For B2B, sharing blog content seems to be the most successful. Over 40% of users polled said that blog posts were the most effective social media marketing strategy, which was number one by a fair margin.

For B2C, Facebook advertising was far and away the most effective, especially for small to medium size businesses. Over 80% of businesses polled said that Facebook was their most effective marketing channel. Twitter came in a distant second. Keep in mind that Twitter also has a very high impression rate, with between 1-3% impressions per sponsored tweet, which is considerably higher than banner ads or Facebook ads.

Another channel that is seeing huge growth is Instagram. In 2015, Instagram ad revenue was just $0.6 billion. That is estimated to jump to $1.5 billion by year end, and $2.8 billion by 2017. That’s some incredible exponential growth there.

What’s the reason for this massive growth? Mobile. Instagram is a mobile-first platform that caters to the meteoric rise of mobile users on a global scale. With many companies shifting to a mobile-first mentality, it only makes sense that Instagram would see an enormous benefit from this, and so will your company if you take advantage of it. According to Instagram’s business blog, ad recall from sponsored posts was almost 300% higher than average based on Nielsen’s online advertising norms.

If the picture hasn’t been painted clear enough yet, I’m not sure it ever will be. Social media advertising is going to keep growing. It’s an incredible opportunity for your business to increase your brand recognition through sponsored ads and remarketing. Do yourself and your bottom line a favor and get on the social train before it’s too late.

Looking for more information on social media advertising? Download our guides on Getting Started with Facebook and Facebook Ads for Ecommerce, or set up a FREE consult with one of our expert analysts who can evaluate your social media opportunities.