Corporate Eye

Social Network Ad Revenues Triple in 4 Years

In 2009, brands in the United States spent $1.43 billion to advertise on social networking sites. In 2012, that number is expected to jump to $3.93 billion, which equates to an increase of 175%.

This year, brands will invest 10.8% of their total online marketing budgets to social media advertising. That’s quite impressive given the fact that the most popular social networking sites where ad dollars are spent, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, haven’t even been around for a full decade yet.

As social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter refine their advertising programs, more and more advertisers will get on board. Just last month, Twitter surpassed LinkedIn and Facebook in terms of traffic growth. In July 2011, Twitter’s U.S.-based traffic increased by 32%. That’s nearly three times higher than Facebook’s 11% growth in July and far better than LinkedIn’s 0.5% decline in traffic.

July 2011 marked the first time that U.S.-based traffic to Twitter surpassed LinkedIn with 32.8 million visitors (Twitter’s highest traffic month to date) compared to LinkedIn’s 32.5 million visitors. Facebook still remains the leader with 162 million visitors in July, marking the site’s most-trafficked month since it debuted in 2004.

Twitter is focusing more heavily on its own advertising offerings, so there is no doubt that spending on Twitter advertising will increase in the near future. At the same time, LinkedIn is facing a stagnation that, as a public company now, won’t be allowed to continue. Advertising is the second biggest revenue generator for LinkedIn, so it’s safe to assume that is an area that the company will focus on in order to attract more brands.

In other words, social network advertising isn’t going anywhere. The question is whether your brand will get involved soon (if you’re not already) to begin testing, analyzing results, and fine-tuning your social network advertising strategies and tactics or if you’ll keep waiting to get on board and lose big opportunities?

What do you think? Is your brand already advertising on social networks? Share your experience with the Corporate Eye audience by leaving a comment.

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.