Social Media Overtakes Search in Advertising

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Social media is on a trajectory to become the main focus of advertisers, according to a new survey conducted by Strata, a Comcast-owned media software firm. The quarterly report queried a broad pool of over 1,000 U.S. ad agencies processing over $50 billion in media annually, and revealed that 69% of firms regard social media advertising as being the focus of ad spend, up 32% over the previous year.

social media ad study

A similar study by Pagemodo recently showed that 90% of businesses at least incorporate some form of social media into their marketing plan, with 93% reporting the practice to be beneficial. While only 43% of advertisers in that study reported seeing an actual boost in sales via utilizing social ads, social proofing, or using a sort of digital word-of-mouth to promote a product or service, does significantly increase brand exposure.

Strata President and CEO John Shelton, referring to the survey taken by his company, states, “The survey demonstrates that there has been a shift from search, which has dominated the digital part of the business for the last five to 10 years - to social.” Still, display ads are number one, with 71% of advertisers focusing on platforms like TV. Though, Shelton points out that TV ad spend will be inflated, due to the Presidential election and the Olympics.

Mobile advertising is expanding, with roughly 30% of agencies incorporating it into their campaigns, and 75% of firms target the iPhone in that market. Android was second with 57%, and iPad came in third at 44%. The Strata data also revealed that Android's popularity fluctuated between 46% and 70% over the last 2 years, and “continues to look for stability in the mobile arena."

Now to cite the obvious - Facebook takes up 85% of all social media advertising expenditures, and has achieved at least 80% over the last 7 quarters. Though, I must point out that the Strata study relates to advertising focus, and no dollar amounts were mentioned.

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