Social Ads

Advertisers haven’t yet figured out an ideal measure for the success of paid social media ads, but they’re not giving up on the opportunity just yet.

Nielsen’s 2013 report, “Paid Social Media Advertising” surveyed over 500 U.S. digital marketing and media professionals to better understand their attitudes and habits regarding paid social advertising. Overall, the study indicates that advertisers are still unsure about the ROI of paid social media. But rather than eschew the media altogether, they are experimenting with social ads as a branding support mechanism for other forms of advertising, both online and offline.

Advertisers unsure about the ROI of paid social

33% of advertisers said they think paid social media ads move the needle when combined with other efforts, but aren’t sure how to measure ROI. Similarly, another 33% said that while they believe paid social is a promising tactic, its effectiveness is unknown. Meanwhile, relatively few advertisers (6%) have given up on social media advertising altogether.

Social ads often run in tandem with other media

66% of advertisers say they use paid social media in conjunction with other online media and 51% said they run it with offline ads.

Paid social used primarily for branding

45% of advertisers say they use paid social media for branding efforts such as raising awareness and influencing brand opinions.

Overall, social ads seem to be part of the bigger picture rather than the bread and butter of a campaign — a perfect opportunity for tools like Twitter ad keyword targeting and Facebook partner categories.