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The rise of social advertising

Author's avatar By Danyl Bosomworth 03 Aug, 2011
Essential Essential topic

The third report from the Pivot Conference and Brian Solis

Pivot have surveyed 230 brand managers and marketing professionals, this is their third report from that research. The report of course is helping promote something, an event that is pitched as providing tactical methods to effectively market to the evolving social consumer.

So, what's social advertising exactly?

Social advertising methods usedIt's good to ask the obvious question. Well it's most often Twitter’s Promoted Products suite, Facebook's contextual advertising, friend-based banners and “Sponsored Stories” program, and YouTube’s Promoted Videos, for example. You also have paid or branded Tweets/blogs, social media optimisation, Tweet/Like to win, paid placements, contests, viral videos and social ambassador programmes - though PR companies and social media agencies will claim that's their space.

With questions over what advertising actually working (in terms of measurable ROI) and banner blindness being a concern, marketer's attention turns to social media since it suggests new opportunity for engagement in and around the the users' social stream, or dashboard. This is why Facebook's contextual ads, Promoted Tweets and You Tube's Promoted Videos are popular, they are all designed to promote within where user's already looking.

Ratings of Social AdvertisingNaturally, the major 4 platforms dominate social advertising budgets: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

The report highlights

  1. 85% of respondents were either currently experimenting with social advertising or planned to do so within the next 12 months
  2. 54% are satisfied or very satisfied with their experiences within social advertising to date.
  3. Not surprisingly, Social Advertising is mostly integrated into campaign planning, with 70% of brands stating that their social advertising planning is done at the same time as the rest of the campaign - 70% of brands also integrate off-line advertising to drive engagement in the social space
  4. Brands are turning to the social consumer for endorsement of products and services with 84% of brands encouraging user participation with their social advertising campaigns
  5. Consumers are always-on and expect the same from those with whom they connect. 75% of brands agree, claiming that social advertising is an ongoing programme or process, much like PPC

Social advertising methods used or planned to use

As ever there are obstacles and the man two are demonstrating ROI and securing budgets and management buy-in. So, as ever it's the ability to measure that holds huge importance. Though 16% of respondents don't measure at all you can see how the people that do are managing it.Tools to measure social advertising effectiveness

“Those brands that listen, measure and evolve programs as a result, will push advertising forward—to the benefit of consumers and ultimately the brand” Brian Solis

It seems very early days for a robust case to invest in social advertising, and no matter how you frame it overt advertising (like banners) struggle to prove ROI, I can't see social advertising being that different. However integrating considered promotions or advertising with useful content and seeking customer interaction seems a road worth pursuing. Advertise where and when there's already interest in you, there's permission in that sense. Time and testing will tell as to what works.

You can download the full report here, Brian Solis has done a large blog on it here too. The Pivot Conference (New York) is here.

Author's avatar

By Danyl Bosomworth

Dan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital. His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan's interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan's background here Linked In.

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