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We’re Spending More Time with Social Media: Advertisers Follow


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The attention dashboard is rapidly emerging as the online hub for sharing and discovering information, connecting us to people, content, and events in real-time. According to research, we’re already spending more time in social networks than we are in email. New studies are only fortifying these findings, documenting an increase time spent specifically in Social Media and blogs.

In fact, the Nielsen Company reports reports that time spent on social networks and blogs accounted for 17 percent of total time spent on the Internet in August 2009. Most notably, but not surprising, however, is that this discovery represents nearly triple the percentage of time spent using Social Media just one year ago.

As a result of our online interaction, advertisers are following our activities attempting to capture our attention where it is focused. The same report also found that online display advertising in top social networks has more than doubled year-over-year, increasing 119 percent. The jump represents an increase in spending from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to roughly $108 million in August 2009. Also of note, the share of estimated spend in social networks as also increased, expanding from seven percent in August 2008 to 15 percent in August 2009.

Unfortunately what’s missing from Nielsen’s report is data related to user interaction with ads. Although, we know that on Twitter for instance, users are twice as likely to click on ads, review products and visit brand profiles online according to a recent study by Interpret. The company surveyed over 9,000 Internet users in August 2009 and found that 24 percent of respondents that use Twitter reviewed or rated products online while only 12 percent of people who use other social networks, not Twitter, did so. Along those lines, 20 percent of Twitter users were also more likely to visit company profiles while non-Twitter users accounted for only 11 percent.  In advertising, the numbers were also interesting. 20 percent of Twitter users over nine percent of non-users reported that they would click on ads or sponsored links.


Source: MarketingCharts.com

Nielsen captured the industries leading the way for spending in social networks with entertainment, travel, business-to-business, automotive, and health representing the top five respectively.

Chart 1: Year-over-Year Percent Change in Online Advertising Spend by Industry (U.S., August 2009)

Estimated Spend on Top Social Network Sites*

Year-over-Year Percent Growth

Industry

Aug-08

Aug-09

On Social Network Sites*

On All Sites

Entertainment

$1,097,700

$10,012,800

812%

40%

Travel

$473,700

$2,198,200

364%

-11%

Business to Business

$683,400

$1,941,700

184%

-8%

Automotive

$1,110,200

$3,085,800

178%

-26%

Health

$1,131,500

$2,754,900

143%

8%

Web Media

$11,231,800

$26,855,700

139%

30%

Software

$526,400

$1,202,500

128%

-29%

Financial Services

$3,233,900

$6,415,900

98%

-10%

Public Services

$6,836,500

$13,203,100

93%

13%

Telecommunications

$12,449,500

$23,550,300

89%

-1%

Consumer Goods

$1,913,400

$3,349,200

75%

8%

Hardware & Electronics

$654,000

$1,022,900

56%

-47%

Retail Goods & Services

$8,101,400

$12,556,800

55%

-12%

Source: Nielsen AdRelevance

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23 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “We’re Spending More Time with Social Media: Advertisers Follow”

  1. Jake says:

    Thanks for the information. I always love seeing some real numbers. I have wondered the effectiveness of Twitter and its uses for business strategy. One would be blind to say there is not strategic opportunity for companies to be on Twitter, as well as other social media networks. But for many the likelihood that they will actually be read on their followers home page is slim!

    What do you consider best practice for contacting your followers?

  2. Maggie says:

    Great post! I must say the results of that study are not surprising, but its great to see them laid out so clearly! The proof that social media is a growing phenomenon is undeniable!

  3. I am finding a fuzzy middle area where the advertisers (companies/groups) are seeing the traditional media as less effective while the new social medias are unproven. It's that leap of faith that advertisers are starting to make. For the media companies it is a bit confusing to shift there business models. The information you have presented clearly shows that the shift is happening, and faster than many may have expected. To what degree the recent/current recession increased the adoption I don't know, but I suspect it was a major factor as we all looked for value for the money spent vs. the less quantifiable more traditional media. Great post. Thanks.

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  5. @collentine says:

    Nice to see some numbers on this.

    The twitter stats are a bit misleading seeing that often companies partake a much more active roll in twitter since they're integrated into the community in a different way then for example facebook where they are set apart from rest of community in fan pages. More activity from companies ofcourse lead to more interaction.

  6. Uwe_Noelke says:

    Great Info. The results of that study are not surprising, but its great to see them laid out so evidently! Social media is a growing definitely!

  7. Interesting and can find ourselves in it. However (own research): 74 percent of Twitters are from North America; the rest mainly from Europe. Another thing is that only 3% of the tweets from South African twitters are read by South Africans …….. Etc. etc. With other words: if I would be an South African advertiser with products/services designated for the South African market twitter is not the first tool of think of.
    We dearly miss socio-demographic data in these statistics.

  8. stephholland says:

    Great post! I think it is so amazing that we already have “traditional social networks”.

  9. stephholland says:

    Great post! I think it is so amazing that we already have “traditional social networks”.

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