January 7, 2014, 11:31 AM

Marketers boost their social network ad spending 37% in 2013

EMarketer expects spending to grow another 27% this year as social networks continue rolling out new ad units and targeting tools.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Marketers worldwide increased their social network advertising spending 37.3% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a new report by eMarketer Inc. The market research firm expects spending to grow another 27.3% this year and 25.4% in 2015.

Last year’s spending growth came as Facebook and Twitter rolled out a number of sophisticated ad targeting tools and  Tumblr and Pinterest introduced advertising on their platforms.

Marketers worldwide spent an average of $6.18 on social network advertising per social network user last year, up 20.2% from $5.14 a year earlier, eMarketer estimates. EMarketer expects that spend to grow 12.8% this year to $6.97 and to reach $7.98 by 2015.

The market research firm bases its estimates paid advertising on social networks and it doesn’t include other marketing expenses such as the costs involved in managing a brand’s Facebook page.

The worldwide average is far less than the average of $26.05 per social network user North American advertisers spent last year, up 36.9% from $19.03 in 2012. EMarketer expects that spend to grow nearly 26.0% to $32.82 this year and to reach $39.89 next year.

North American advertisers spent more than double per user what Western European advertisers spent in 2013. Western European marketers spent an average of $12.04 per social network user last year, up 17.6% from $10.24 in 2012. EMarketer expects that to grow 13.9% to $13.71 this year and to jump to $16.17 next year.

Overall social network ad spending is growing most quickly in the Middle East and Africa, where eMarketer says marketers boosted spending 68.0% last year and will increase their budgets another 63.9% this year. Latin America’s social network ad spending is also booming, as marketers increased their spending 47.5% in 2013 and will boost that spend another 37.6% this year. North American advertisers increased their budgets by 42.4% last year and will increase that spending 30.7% this year, eMarketer says.

The eMarketer report’s findings are in line with similar results reported in the new Internet Retailer 2014 Social Media 500. The new research guide, which ranks the leaders in social commerce by the percentage of web site traffic they receive directly from social networks, finds that spending on social ads by 40 retailers that supplied data increased 400% from 2012 to 2013.



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