How Paid Advertising Is Working on Social Media

New Advertising Age Research Report, Social-Media Advertising, Now Available

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  • Social-media content has grabbed the spotlight in the last few years, as marketers figure out how to engage consumers through tweets, posts and viral videos, but what of paid advertising? With Twitter's recent IPO, paid social-media advertising is back in focus. Facebook, and the experiences marketers have had with its paid ad options is one way to gauge how ads may perform on other social networks just as others are seriously starting to figure out their own paid models. This latest Advertising Age Research Report, Social Media Advertising, looks at what's worked and what hasn't when it comes to paid social-media advertising, and what marketers should be trying as they experiment on emerging platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

In terms of other media, just how big is big with social media? Enormous. Nothing has bested the reach of TV since its broad-scale launch in the early '50s, but now, Facebook alone now surpasses the reach of the four broadcast networks in two key demographics: 18-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-34-year-olds.

It's now a truism that nearly everybody and their brother -- and their mother -- is on a social network. Pew Research Center issued an updated report and noted that an eye-popping 71% of all U.S. adults are on a social network, while an additional 18% use Twitter (Pew considers Twitter to be something other than a social network). When this usage is broken down by demographic, the numbers get even more impressive: 89% of 18-to-29-year-olds are posting, while 78% of 30-to-49-year-olds (mom!) are on, as are 60% of 50-to-64-year-olds and 43% of those over 65. A T-shirt that was first seen at internet-marketing conferences in 2011 -- "I just friended your mother" -- more than make sense -- and should probably be changed to "grandmother."

Of course, actually buying all that reach is not so simple, but that's not typically how advertisers approach Facebook, anyway. And social platforms are not a static form of media. New social networks are constantly cropping up and finding audiences. In terms of growth, Pinterest is taking off like a rocket, while Facebook, with such enormous penetration has slowed.

The reality is that beyond their stock prices, social networks will live and die by advertising. The truly remarkable development is that Facebook, in just under a year, created a network of agencies with privileged access to its data -- and granted the rights of cohabitation with that data -- and in the process is managing to move billions of impressions, drive billions in revenue and just possibly revolutionize the entire ad industry. Content sites and ad agencies -- indeed the entire media ecosystem—should be aware of this, the biggest of big-data scenarios in action.

In this report, you will learn:

  • The reach and the demographics of the top social-media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterist, Linked In, Instagram).
  • How social-media advertising fits into your brands' overall marketing plans
  • Ad spending trends on social media platforms
  • Why FBX Exchange is the game changer, and how to take advantage of it
  • Correlation between social media and TV ratings
  • What's working on mobile, and why your brand needs to be ready

Purchase Social Media Advertising here.

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