Posted September 16, 2013 3:13 pm by with 2 comments

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fb_budget_spent_on_ads_400pxWhen asked “Do you use Facebook as a marketing channel”, 83% of the AdAge readers polled said yes. The responses came from a pool of 1,200 marketers which included agencies, consultants, media marketers and folks marketing on their own behalf.

That number’s not at all surprising but they also discovered that an increasing number of people are paying for Facebook advertising services. 74% said they set aside some amount of money for Facebook. That’s up from 62% in January 2012.

74% is a lot higher than I would have imagined, but we need another chart to put it all in perspective. (See chart right)

Of those who are paying out, the majority only allocate 1-10% of their social media budget. Let me say that again “social media budget” – I want to know where the rest of their money is going. Are they buying ads on YouTube? Or maybe they’re including the cost of paying an employee to keep up the social media stream.

Bloomberg says a lot of that money is going to mobile advertising on Twitter.   Thanks to an early investment in mobile, Twitter now gets 50% of its ad income from those ads. Facebook only gets 41%.

Twitter may be ahead because they jumped into mobile before Facebook. They’re ads have always fit neatly into the stream. Facebook struggled with that, but it looks like they’re now getting it right.

When asked about ROI, marketers came down almost evenly on both sides – mobile and desktop.



It will be interesting to see what happens when Facebook finally gets those video ads into the mix.

As it stands now,  I think Facebook is tired of giving brands thousands of free views with Pages and they’re going to do all they can to shake money out of the trees with a variety of advertising options.

I think a better solution would be to offer a Pro Plan for Facebook Page owners. For a monthly fee, you’d get better placement, more posts in the feed and a couple of free mobile or sidebar ads. This type of program would be much more appealing to a small business who feels overwhelmed by the current advertising options.

The Why

So, more people are planning to spend more money on Facebook ads. Why? 43% said brand awareness was the number one priority. Next goal was driving traffic to a website or collecting more likes. Generating actual sales or sales leads was pretty far down on the list. A small percentage said communicating with customers was their top priority.

Why are you on Facebook? And are you willing to start paying for what you’ve been getting for free?





  • I’m surprised that driving actual leads and sales leads from Facebook was so low on the list of desired ROI. We work with a number of small businesses on Facebook and revenue is always top-of-mind when running any kind of advertisement. My only guess is that the people surveyed run ads for large brands who sell consumer products through distributors.

    And these findings seem to run counter to recent stats we found and curated into an infographic on Using Social Media for Lead Generation:

    The one that stands out the most is that 77% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. This makes me think that most marketers are using Facebook to drive sales.

    Do you think these stats accurately reflect how all marketers are using Facebook? Or is it skewed based on the sample surveyed?

  • Miro Lenis

    it is interesting to know how the percentage toward Facebook ads is increasing. Thank you for sharing your research.