Global spending on social media advertising is forecast to reach $29.9bn in 2016. And it’s rising fast, predicted to grow a further 20% in 2017 – reaching $36bn and representing 16% of all digital ad spending.
Social networks have made content marketers of all of us – as demonstrated by the photos we publish to Instagram, the news we share on Twitter, and the comments we post to LinkedIn.
Facebook users alone share more than 4.75 billion items of content every day. That’s more than four pieces of content for each of Facebook’s 1.09 billion daily active users. Such unprecedented volume poses a complex challenge: what content gets seen, and by whom?
“On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. Competition in News Feed is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in News Feed.”
This competition for attention isn’t new, but it’s getting more and more intense – and the biggest losers appear to be brands.
Businesses have long reported declining organic reach across social networks, and this trend looks to be accelerating as networks change their algorithms to shift the balance of what’s seen – the latest example being Facebook’s move to prioritise content from friends over that published by brands.
“Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some pages,” says Adam Mosseri, VP for newsfeed product management at Facebook.
The message: it’s only going to get harder for brands to reach their audiences organically.
It’s become clear that the social audiences grown by brands aren’t owned: they’re rented. Even if an audience has been grown organically, access to it is no longer free. You have to pay to play.
While it’s easy to focus on the downside, the perceived shift of social networks from owned and earned media towards paid brings huge opportunity.
Social networks offer unparalleled access to global audiences, thanks to their pervasiveness and the data they collect. Nearly 1 in 4 people over the age of 13 use Facebook every month – that’s 1.65 billion people. And for each of those users, Facebook understands their interests and behavior. It’s a similar picture on Twitter and LinkedIn, albeit with fewer users.
So while the required investment may have increased, marketers can understand and target their audiences more precisely than ever before. Through social media advertising, there has never been an easier way to reach so many customers.
With such opportunity in mind, we’ve created The B2B marketer’s quick guide to social media advertising.
This guide explains why social media advertising has become such an integral part of the B2B marketing mix, and how brands can harness it to add value to their bottom line.
The guide also shares best practice tips gathered by the social media advertising team at Metia Group, and offers insight from our Performance Benchmarking Index – a data collection benchmarking tool through which we track, measure and optimize all of our social media advertising campaigns.
You’ll learn what represents a good return from the main social networks, and what trends and pitfalls you need to be aware of before you start a campaign. And for those ready to get stuck in, we provide a practical six step guide to ensure your social media advertising campaigns drive measurable value for your business.
Download the guide here.