Facebook is the platform of choice for firms looking to boost their online presence and drive retail sales according to a Social Intelligence report from Adobe.
The firm found that in the past 12 months, click volume on Facebook for adverts has risen by 29 percent while ad impressions grew 85 percent. This also led to a sizeable 120 percent increase for the cost per thousand impressions.
The figures were drawn from a huge database of Facebook use by brands via the Adobe Marketing Cloud platform that is used by 5,000 firms. Adobe compiled this data on user engagement via adverts placed on Facebook that tried to direct people to retail, media, entertainment and travel websites.
While Facebook dominates the social ad landscape it faces increasing competition from sites like Twitter and Pinterest. Twitter saw a large increase, with revenue per visitor for brands rising by 300 percent.
This huge increase is likely due in part to the fact Twitter is still growing as an ad platform so the inclusion of more adverts on the site will lead to higher engagement. However, the growth cannot be dismissed and proves that Facebook will not have it all its own way in the battle for social-led advertising.
Tamara Gaffney, a principal analyst at Adobe looking at digital channels, said the figures underlined the importance brands were placing on advertising on social sites.
“Social media is rapidly maturing as a marketing channel, bolstered by the steps Facebook and Twitter have taken to make their audiences more accessible to marketers,” she said.
“Recognising the opportunity, marketers are optimising their campaigns for social channels, and as a result consumers are now using social media much more in their purchasing process. We expect this trend to accelerate during the holiday season.”
However, firms were advised to think carefully about about the content they use on social sites, with Adobe marketing analytics manager Joe Martin writing in a blog that a mix of content types is vital, especially as gathering complete data on user response to adverts is still hard to guage.
"Marketers should be cautious, however, not to over-use text posts and the abundance of these posts will likely become less impactful over time. Although it costs more, video postings will be more engaging," he said.
"Marketers will want to plan ahead and dedicate more resources to managing social media content. Tracking social ROI remains difficult as the data is still held in silos and attribution algorithms are nascent in their design and availability."
The findings back those from PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year that found that online spending for advertising is up by 17.5 percent, or £435m.
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