January 28, 2014, 1:55 PM

Facebook is only one piece of the social media marketing puzzle

Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr are increasingly driving valuable traffic to retailers’ sites, according to the new Adobe Digital Index.

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Facebook Inc. ads’ click-through rates soared 365% year over year in the fourth quarter, according to the new Adobe Digital Index. That’s a clear sign that the social network’s ads are increasingly effective.

But Facebook is hardly the only social channel that marketers can tap to drive traffic to retailers’ sites, the report suggests: Twitter Inc., Pinterest and Tumblr each posted large increases in revenue per visit. Adobe Systems Inc. examined the revenue its retail, media, entertainment and travel clients generated from shoppers clicking from social networks. It then divided that by the number of unique visitors from those social sites to develop a metric it calls “average revenue per visit.”

Adobe found that the average revenue per visit for shoppers who click from Facebook was $1.22 in the fourth quarter, up 71.8% from 71 cents in the same period a year earlier. Tumblr wasn’t far off Facebook’s pace, as its average revenue per visit was $1.10, up 340% from 25 cents a year earlier. Meanwhile, the average revenue per visit for shoppers clicking from Pinterest was 98 cents, up nearly 263% from 27 cents a year earlier. The average revenue per visit for consumers clicking from Twitter was 81 cents, up 131.4% from 35 cents in 2012.

Those big jumps in revenue suggest that each of those social networks represent a potentially lucrative source of traffic, the report suggests.

The report also found that Facebook ad impressions rose 10% in the fourth quarter for Adobe’s clients. The big jump in Facebook ads’ click-through rates is likely due to marketers doing a better job of targeting consumers using tools like Custom Audience, which lets advertisers use information shoppers share with them off of Facebook to target ads on the social network, the report says.

The cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions for Facebook ads increased 437% in the fourth quarter thanks to increased demand. However, in part due to the higher click-through rate, the cost per click only increased 29%, Adobe says. Adobe didn’t provide specific figures in the report. 

“Social media channels are picking up steam and have their eyes on capturing a greater proportion of search dollars,” the report says. “The real race will not be between social media channels, but between marketers’ allocation of dollars across search, display and social.”

Adobe based its report on 240 billion Facebook ad impressions and 500 million referred visits from social network sites. Adobe did not say how many clients were involved in the measurement.

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