Facebook Still at the Top of the Heap for Retail Social Advertising

February 6, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Creative & Formats | Digital | Industries | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media | Spending & Spenders

Smartly Retail Advertisers Social Platform Investments Feb2020Among retailers advertising on social media, about 50% dedicate at least half of their marketing budget to social advertising. That’s according a recent report [download page] from Smartly.io, WBR Insights and eTail, which surveyed 100 marketing decision-makers representing retail brands that generate more than $200 million in online sales and have budgets allocated towards social media advertising.

Almost all (96%) of these respondents say they currently buy ads on Facebook, with more than one-third (36% share) saying it’s the social platform to which they dedicate the largest portion of their social ad spend. While Facebook has had its difficulties in the past few years and is not as indispensable to social media users as it used to be, research from early last year shows that it beats out the likes of Google, YouTube and email as the channel from which consumers discover new brands.

Returning to the Smartly.io study, all the respondents who say they currently advertise on Facebook have plans to increase their advertising budget on the platform this year. This is likely the result of its effectiveness: about two-fifths (41% share) of respondents also say that Facebook is the single best social media platform for return on ad spend (ROAS).

Instagram ranks second among respondents when it comes to ROAS, with 21% saying they are seeing the best ROAS from their social advertising on the platform. It edges out LinkedIn and Twitter (each of which boast the best ROAS for 19% share of respondents), even though respondents are actually more likely to be advertising on LinkedIn and Twitter than on Instagram.

Indeed, some 76% of respondents are currently buying social media ads on LinkedIn. While this platform may not jump out as an obvious retail advertising platform, it is a prime channel to target higher-income consumers, with data from the US Media Audience Demographics report showing that adults with a household income of $100k+ are 25% more likely than average to visit LinkedIn.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 100 US retail marketing decision-makers representing brands with at least $200 million in annual revenue from online sales.


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