More and more brands and businesses are conducting advertising activities on social networking sites. A research done by BIA/Kelsey states that social media advertising revenue will go up to $8.3 billion by 2015, while the revenue spent on social media advertising was just $2.1 billion in 2010.The study also found that Facebook had a dominant share of all social ad impressions served and ad revenues generated, surpassing both Yahoo and Google. However, with the growth in the usage of social media sites by consumers, advertisers would soon be extending their advertising activities beyond popular networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to other social media sites like YouTube, LinkedIn and foursquare, according to a recent research done by eMarketer.
eMarketer estimates that Facebook and Twitter dominate the social networks used by US marketers and agencies to conduct ad campaigns. Over 93% of respondents said that they have deployed ad campaigns on Facebook, and 78% said that they have done it on Twitter. Facebook and Twitter will make $2.19 billion and $140 million, respectively, in US revenues this year, according to the study.
Advertising on sites like YouTube, LinkedIn and foursquare are expected to grow this year. Over 61% of respondents indicated that they plan to start ad campaigns on YouTube, 44% referred to LinkedIn and 16% wanted to use foursquare for advertising campaigns, in the next year. Sites like MySpace, Zynga and Meebo will have to work harder in order to attract more advertisers.
Advertisers are quite happy with Facebook’s ad offerings. Majority of respondents rated Facebook’s ad offerings as excellent or good, and no other social media site received such a high rating. Only 11% of advertisers felt that Twitter’s ad offerings were excellent and only 16% were completely happy with YouTube’s ad offerings.
Social networks may improve their advertising offering, but the situation will not improve if marketers are not aware how to go about advertising on social media platforms. While many marketers are actively using social media platforms, most of them still lack the complete knowledge of social advertising. Among the respondents that don’t currently advertise on social networking sites but plan to do it in the next year, 83% believed that simply blogging or tweeting for a company was a form of social advertising and only 69% spoke about paid placements or other paid visibility programs on the sites. This clearly indicates that social media marketers are still unaware of the available social advertising opportunities. To encourage marketers to take up their paid products, social networks have to make them more visible and understandable.