Social Media Ad Spending Will Hit $3.3 Billion in 2010

Social networks worldwide will rake in $3.3 billion in advertising dollars this year, according to updated estimates by eMarketer. That’s a 31% increase from 2009′s $2.5 billion. And Facebook is the biggest winner — 39% of that amount, or $1.3 billion, will go to the social-media juggernaut.

In the U.S., social ad spending is expected to rise 20% to $1.7 billion and Facebook has an even larger market share — 50 percent of that amount ($835 million), versus a 36% share last year (when its U.S. advertising revenues were estimated to be $500 million out of a total of $1.4 billion).

The big loser in social ads this year? MySpace, whose share is estimated to drop from 32% in 2009 ($445 million) to 19% in 2010 ($323 million).

Online social games and applications are becoming a more important part of the mix. Advertising is not a primary revenue stream for game companies like Zynga or Playdom, but their large audiences are interesting to marketers. eMarketer expects companies like these to attract $293 million in spending worldwide in 2011, up from $220 million in 2010.

Twitter, which finally launched its ad business earlier this year, is part of eMarketer’s forecast for the first time. Although worldwide ad spending on Twitter will be under $50 million in 2010, the potential for 2011 and beyond could be dramatic if its “resonance” model of measuring advertising effectiveness works.

Here’s a nice infographic from Flowtown that does a great job of summarizing all of eMarketer’s data:

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Women Dominate Social Networks

According to a new study from comScore, social networking sites reach a higher percentage of women than men. “Women on the Web: How Women Are Shaping the Internet”, found that 76% of women visit a social networking site compared to 70% of men.

Globally, women demonstrate higher engagement levels with social networking sites than men. Using data from May 2010, comScore reported that although women comprise 48% of total unique visitors to the social networking category, they consume 57% of pages and account for nearly 57% of total minutes spent on these sites.

Women spend significantly more time on social networking sites than men, with women averaging 5.5 hours per month compared to 4 hours for men — this demonstrates women’s strong engagement with social sites.

On average, women spend more time online per month, 25 hours vs. 23 hours for men. But, when it comes to the social Web, there’s an even bigger divergence between the sexes. “Nearly 56 percent of adult women say they use the Internet to stay in touch with people, compared to 46% of adult men,” according to the report. comScore identifies higher activity levels in social categories such as social networking, instant messenger, and e-mail.

Those behaviors equate to women spending an average of 16.3% of their online time per month on social networks, a percentage that continues to rise month-to-month. Men spend just 11.7% of their time on the same activities.

Latin America and North America Display Strongest Social Networking Reach Among Women

Perhaps reflecting cultural differences, the relative importance of social networking varies across countries. However, no matter the location, women are consistently more social on the Web than their male counterparts. The social Web’s influence among women is highest in Latin America, where it reached 94% of females online, and in North America, where 91% engaged. 86% of Europe’s female online population visit a social networking site, while Asia Pacific, where parts of the region still have site restrictions and low broadband penetration, reported a 55% reach.

Social Networking Category Reach by Worldwide Region for Females and Males
May 2010
Total Audience, Age 15+ – Home & Work Locations*
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Social Networking % Reach by Region
Females Males
Worldwide 75.8% 69.7%
Latin America 94.1% 91.9%
North America 91.0% 87.5%
Europe 85.6% 80.6%
Asia Pacific 54.9% 50.7%

Other takeaways from the report:

  • Although men are in the majority across the global Internet, women spend about 8% more time online.
  • Globally, women spend 20% more time on retail sites overall than men. Among the various retail sub-categories, Comparison Shopping and Apparel sites reached the highest percentage of women at 24.8% and 18.7%, respectively, in May 2010.
  • In the U.S., women are more avid online buyers than men, with 12.5% of female Internet users making an online purchase in February 2010, compared to 9.3% of men.
  • Health sites show some of the largest overall differences in reach between female and male, with a nearly 6-point gap between global women and men.
  • In most countries women spend far less time watching online video than men, but women spend a much higher share of their time watching videos on YouTube than men.
  • In both the U.S. and Europe, smartphone usage is dominated by men with both markets experiencing close to a 60/40 split in smartphone adoption between the genders.

Download “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet“.

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How Women Use Social Media [Infographic]

Social media sites are having a powerful effect on our lives. It’s important for marketers to understand how people use social networks, and Ethan Bloch of Flowtown has created a great infographic that shows how women leverage the social Web, which sites they use, and how much/why they participate.

Women are online and interacting on social sites just as much — if not, more — than their male counterparts. More than half of all American women participate in social media at least once a week, and younger women use it the most.

Takeaways:

  • 53% of adult females use social media at least on a weekly basis.
  • Their top interests are entertainment, food, health/wellness, and recipes/cooking. Fashion/beauty/shopping comes in fifth.
  • 34% of women use social networks to get information, while 20% of women are looking for advice and recommendations.

Click the image below to see the full-sized version:




The Social Habit: Who Uses Social Media and How

Edison Research just released its latest report on social network usage. The study compares the behavior and demographics of frequent users of social media to those of the population at large. The data is based on a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,753 Americans (including 371 mobile phone interviews) ages 12+ conducted in February, 2010.

Here are the principal findings from the report:


1. With both usage of social networks and the frequency of that usage increasing dramatically, we are truly witnessing a sea change in how mainstream consumers communicate.


2. Though social networking is rapidly becoming more common throughout the wider population, it is still most popular among the young; students are especially overrepresented.


3. Women are bigger social media users than men.


4. The biggest social networkers are, unsurprisingly, more likely to be big Internet users and early-adopters of new gadgets. But they still think the mobile phone is the technology that has had the biggest impact on their lives.


5. Frequent social networkers are also more likely to update their status on those networks — i.e., create content online — which has implications for word-of-mouth marketing and search.


6. Not only are frequent social networkers posting more status updates, they are also more likely to follow brands/companies than the average social media user — which makes identifying and appealing to those with the “social habit” crucial for brands.


7. Mobile access to social media is almost certainly a significant contributor to frequency of usage.


8. The data for frequent social networkers’ usage of podcasts, online video, and online audio supports the assumption that a significant amount of content is being consumed on-demand, potentially at the point where such content is shared.


9. Americans with “the social habit” are watching significantly less traditional television, but potentially consuming (and sharing) more “video” through alternative means.


Download the entire report (PDF) here →



Social Media: Tracking Its Exponential Growth [Stats, Video]

Many of you are probably familiar with Social Media Revolution, a fantastic video created last year by Erik Qualman that examined the explosion of social media onto the modern scene. It did an excellent job of explaining the importance of the social Web and its impact on society. Erik is also the author of the fine book Socialnomics, which details how social media has forever changed the way we live and do business.

Since everything in the world of social media has been evolving so quickly, Erik has just updated that wonderful video to include many new statistics and graphics. If you loved the first one, you’ll enjoy version two just as much:

Stats from Video:

  1. Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old
  2. 96% of them have joined a social network
  3. Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  4. Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
  5. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media
  6. Years to reach 50 millions users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…
  7. Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year
  8. iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months
  9. We don’t have a choice about whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.
  10. If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest ahead of the United States and only behind China and India
  11. Yet QQ and Renren dominate China
  12. 2009 U.S. Department of Education study revealed that, on average, online students outperformed those receiving face-to-face instruction
  13. 80% of companies use social media for recruitment; 95% of these use LinkedIn
  14. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females
  15. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres (combined) have more Twitter followers than the populations of Ireland, Norway, or Panama
  16. 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the U.K. is for Facebook…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
  17. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé — some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts
  18. Instead they are distributing: eReaders + iPads + Tablets
  19. What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…
  20. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube
  21. While you watch this, 100+ hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube
  22. Wikipedia has over 15 million articlesstudies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English
  23. There are over 200,000,000 blogs
  24. Because of the speed with which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth
  25. If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour
  26. 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
  27. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands
  28. Do you like what they are saying about your brand? You’d better.
  29. People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them
  30. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations
  31. Only 14% trust advertisements
  32. Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
  33. 90% of people that can skip TiVo ads do
  34. Kindle eBooks outsold paper books for Christmas
  35. 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation
  36. 60 millions status updates happen on Facebook daily
  37. We no longer search for the news, the news finds us
  38. We will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media
  39. Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate
  40. Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like Mad Men: Listening first, selling second
  41. The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years
  42. Bonus: comScore indicates that Russia has the most engaged social media audience, with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month – Vkontakte.ru is the #1 social network
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Who’s Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

A new Edison Research report draws many interesting conclusions about U.S. Twitter users. The report summarizes the most recent data from a three-year tracking study conducted by Edison and Arbitron. The findings will help you better understand Twitter usage and assist in your social marketing efforts.

Twitter Usage In America: 2010” pulled data from a national telephone survey of almost 2,000 Americans that was conducted in February. The data was laid over similar studies from 2008 and 2009, resulting in a comprehensive representation of Twitter-related use statistics. You can request a copy of the report from Edison at their Web site, or check out all the best charts below.

Takeaways:

  • While Facebook is the dominant social platform in terms of usage, Twitter is still growing rapidly and driving consumer awareness.
  • Twitter users are actively discussing products and services. It’s important to monitor conversations about your business and provide compelling content for users to discuss.
  • Despite the fact that Twitter is becoming popular, it’s still far behind Facebook — so an effective social media marketing strategy should include multiple platforms to maximize results.
  • Marketing on the social Web is becoming about multiple screens. Users are engaging on social networks on different types of devices including smart phones, laptops, and tablets. It’s important to make sure that your online presence is optimized to take advantage of different form factors.
  • As SMS use grows, marketers need to plan ways to leverage SMS as a valuable part of the marketing mix.

Among the findings:

Facebook has a commanding lead over Twitter in usage in the United States — but when it comes to social awareness, the two social platforms are roughly equal:

Edison determined that while 87% of Americans are aware of the microblogging site, only 7% actually use it. As a comparison, Facebook’s awareness rate is at 88%, with usage of 41%.

This dovetails with a recent Citibank report that determined the vast majority of small business owners don’t use social media at all:

Other interesting findings from the Edison report on Twitter

Users are actively discussing products and services:

They’re engaging on social networks from different locations an on different types of devices:

They love text messaging:

And they seem to be amenable to advertising:

In terms of ethnicity, 24% of users are African Americans:


You can download the report from the Edison Research Web site — it’s well worth it, since it contains many more useful social media data points for marketers. Here’s Tom Webster, Vice-President for Strategy and Marketing for Edison, unveiling the report in a webinar:


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If Size Matters, Social Media is Huge in the U.S.

About 127 million Americans, or three-quarters of the population, use social media, according to Nielsen Online. In a survey of 1,700 Internet users, researchers found that 73% engage in social media at least once a week. Engagement was defined as reading a blog, visiting a social network, or reading/commenting on a message board.

The Nielsen study, commissioned by women-focused blog network BlogHer and NBCU’s iVillage, found that Facebook is becoming a major attraction for a majority of the population, rivaling the reach of traditional media channels. Of the online population, 47% visit Facebook daily, according to Nielsen, nearly rivaling the 55% that watch TV. Facebook daily use easily beats out other traditional media like radio (37%) and newspapers (22%).

Social gaming is a daily habit for a huge number of people. According to Nielsen’s survey, 32.7 million people play social games daily. That’s equivalent to newspaper readership and more than double the readership of magazines in the sample. Social games are polarizing, however, as over 50% said they never play them.

For all its buzz, the study found Twitter is still a niche activity for all but a small segment of the online population. Twitter boasts 105 million registered users — but according to Nielsen, just 11.4 million (6%) use it daily.

BlogHer and iVillage commissioned the research to determine the role of social media in the lives of women versus the general population. It found little differences between the sexes when it comes to social media adoption, with women slightly more likely to tweet and blog while men watch more videos.

Blog reading remains a niche activity for online users, with just 11% saying they read them daily — it trailed message board readers (17%). BlogHer’s audience, of course, is more inclined to visiting blogs as a habit, with 77% reading them daily and 96% weekly. The BlogHer audience sample also identified blogs as trailing only search among ad-supported media in purchasing decisions.

BlogHer COO Elisa Camahort said the popularity of social networking is not stealing time and attention from blogs. “It’s like any media progress we’ve had,” she said. “Nothing is killing the other media source. Blogs are still where substantive conversations are happening. It’s not on Facebook.”

Download the study results (PDF).

(Via Adweek)

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What Types of Social Media Ads are Most Effective for Brands? [Stats]

As new ways to engage consumers and market products on the social Web keep multiplying, it’s important to stay abreast of best practices for brands. Research firm Psychster partnered with Allrecipes.com to find out which types of advertising yield the best results.

The study tested 7 different types of ads on two different publisher Web sites, Facebook and Allrecipes:

  1. Banner ads
  2. Newsletter subscription ads
  3. Corporate profiles with fans and logos
  4. Corporate profiles without fans and logos
  5. Get widgets
  6. Give widgets
  7. Sponsored content

Participants were shown a video of an ad type and an interaction and were asked to rate how likely they were to interact with the ad as the video did. They were also asked what their opinion was of the brand sponsoring the ads (either a car brand or a soup brand).

Results:

  • Banner ads and newsletter links were the most successful at encouraging purchase.
  • Sponsored content produced the highest interaction ratings, but the lowest purchase intent and viral recommendations of the 7 ad types. So this type of ad may be a good marketing strategy for raising brand awareness and generating positive associations/brand engagement, but isn’t the best choice for increasing sales.
  • Corporate profiles caused higher purchase intent only when people could become a fan and put a logo on their own profile.
  • Give and get widgets were more engaging than banners and newsletters, but they didn’t increase purchase intent or the likelihood of recommending a product to a friend. Since widgets are pricey, tweets and links may be a better choice.
  • The success of an ad was increased by matching the brand with the Web site (e.g. a soup ad on a recipe site).

Takeaways:

  • If your goals are brand awareness and positive associations, sponsored content may be your best bet.
  • If you’re trying to increase purchasing and loyalty, go with profiles that allow people to become fans and add logos to their own profiles.
  • If you’re targeting purchasing and the best ROI, good old banners and newsletters rule.

Download the study results (PDF)

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Amazing Facebook Facts [Infographic]

Infographics are always great for conveying and interpreting data. Here’s a fantastic Facebook fact sheet from SiteImpulse’s Website Monitoring Blog. It traces the social network’s history and milestones and includes user activity and engagement statistics along with other facts and figures from the company. It incorporates a list the top 10 Facebook countries based on the number of users (the United States is tops with over 111 million, followed by the United Kingdom with 23.5 million), and the top 10 Facebook pages (Texas Hold’Em Poker, anyone?).

Some highlights:

  • 400 million active users
  • 50% check in daily
  • Average user spends 55 minutes per day
  • 35 million update status every day
  • 3 billion photos uploaded each month
  • 5 billion pieces of content shared every day
  • 70% of users are outside the United States

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Use Google Analytics to Track Inbound Links From Social Media Profiles

You can track referrals from Facebook or Twitter in Google Analytics, but what if you want to track specific links within your social media profiles to measure their effectiveness? For example, what if I want to see how many people visit pamorama.net by clicking on my Twitter profile link? This tutorial will teach you the simple steps you need to take — and this method can be used in conjunction with any of your social profiles: Facebook, LinkedIn, or the legion of others.

1: Create a trackable link

Head over to Google’s URL Builder to create a URL that can be tracked separately in Google Analytics. Fill in the spaces as indicated in this screenshot with information about your social media profile:

2: Shorten your trackable link

Google’s URL Builder will create a very long URL, so it’s a good idea to shorten it with one of the many available online shorteners. For the example below, I used bit.ly, but any of them will do the trick:

3: Add your shortened trackable link to your social media profile

You’ve created a trackable link and shortened it — now you need to add it to the the social media profiles you want to track.

4: Track your URL in Google Analytics beginning the next day

Since you used Google’s URL Builder, the link will be tracked automatically in Google Analytics each time someone clicks on on it. You’ll be able to see your referrals by going to Google Analytics -> Traffic Sources -> Campaigns. Google Analytics takes about a day to begin reporting the referrals.

Have you used Google Analytics this way? What did you learn from the data?

 

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