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Social Ad Spend Tripled Last Year

Rising levels of mobile usage on the part of consumers and new targeting options from Facebook radically drove up demand and prices for social media in 2014, according to Social.com’s latest quarterly benchmark report. Social.com is the social campaign component of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Facebook last year rolled out the Facebook Audience Network, a new right-hand-side ad, multi-product ads, and reach and frequency campaigns. By the end of Q3 2014, 1.1 billion of Facebook’s 1.3 billion monthly users were accessing the site via mobile devices, as were 83% of daily users. Those two factors were the primary movers of CPMs that rose from 46 cents in the first quarter to $1.54 in Q3.

The CPM rise was justified by click-through rates that grew in kind from 0.18% in Q1 to 0.60% in Q3, plus a cost-per-click that held steady at 26 cents across the nine-month period, according to Social.com’s analysis of ad data covering more than two trillion ad impressions from January through September.

The rise in spending levels proved much more severe in select verticals. CPMs for clothing and fashion marketers went from 22 cents to $3.20 over that brief time span. Technology company spends increased from 50 cents to $2.66, and entertainment companies from $1.20 to $3.39.

Spending has also moved in tandem with Facebook’s growing mobile audience. Its daily active users grew from 374 million at the beginning of 2013 to 705 million in September 2014. Social.com users’ overall mobile ad spends, meanwhile, increased 239% year-over-year.

“The overall social advertising space was expected to grow by 27% in 2014, but our data suggests that for certain sectors like mobile, video, and the integration of first-party data, social advertising is growing at a rate far greater than that,” says Chris Jacob, director of product marketing for Social.com.

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