Social media continues to innovate ways to build relationships and loyalty with consumers and prospects. As the opportunities evolve so does the overall social media landscape, making it difficult to know which platforms and tactics are most effective in the moment. Research from Adobe helps marketers navigate those waters by breaking down benchmarks across paid, earned, and owned social media. Their Social Intelligence Report from Q3, 2013 offers this information and more to help marketers make more informed and effective social media decisions.

Paid Social

Adobe found Facebook to be an attractive choice for brand marketers, as cost-per-clicks are declining and click-through rates are rising on the network. While this opportunity may be a good deal during some parts of the year, retailers should note that retail CPCs can spike 42% during the holidays. The study also found rising CPMs (or cost per thousand) on Facebook, which may indicate that brands are more focused on optimization. Facebook CPMs were up 120% year-over-year, while ROI was also up 58%. While more advertisers are moving to Facebook, the users of the social network remain engaged. Facebook click volume was up 29% year-over-year, and impression volume on Facebook was up 85%. All of this data suggests good deals on effective advertising may be found on Facebook.


Earned Social

Social engagement is up 115% year-over-year, while brand postings were only up 9% year-over-year. Recent Facebook updates restricted the amount of brand posts a fan can see, which may help explain why social engagement is outpacing brand growth. To combat this, marketers can add geo-targeted content to increase the relevance of brand posts. Engagement can also be increased by including an image in a post. Image-based posts are up 6% year-over-year and produce engagement rates 600% higher than text-based posts. While videos in posts produce similar engagement rates, they are being used much less frequently. Video posts can be used effectively to add variety to a social campaign while still driving engagement.

Owned Social

Adobe recorded an increase in RPV, or revenue per visitor, highlighting the value of social media marketing. The impressive RPV growth rates below emphasize this further. To take advantage of this, try campaigns on new social platforms or increase budgets and activity on existing channels. As with any digital campaign, monitor spend and ROI to continually optimize your goals