menu close
menu close
back to Insight Page

Top Facebook Advertising Reports of 2011

Written by: Cheryl Morris, VP Marketing

For online marketers, 2011 was the year Facebook advertising became mainstream. Facebook accounted for nearly 1 in 3 online display ads in the United States in the first quarter of 2011. This endowed the social network with the title of largest online display ad publisher — by far exceeding the online display ad shares of traditional leaders like Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL, Google, Turner, Fox, Glam Media and many others combined.

As 2011 ensued and Facebook’s membership steadily climbed to surpass 800 million active users, a range of reports and white papers were released to help marketers navigate this new online ad paradigm.

Here are our picks for the top seven reports on the Facebook advertising ecosystem in 2011:

comScore and Facebook

The Power of Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing

A joint effort between comScore and Facebook, this report examines the reach and frequency of a brand’s content on Facebook. The team behind the report focused on activity around three companies’ Facebook pages, concluding and providing weight behind the ripple and viral effects afforded by the social graph. Top findings include:

  • 16% of a brand’s Fans are reached by a brand who posts 5 out of 7 days of the week
  • Examining the top 1,000 Facebook Pages, for every Fan there are on average an additional 81 Friends of Fans that can be reached
  • Reaching Friends of Fans of Starbucks increased its total online ad impressions by 64%

Pivot Conference

The Rise of the Social Advertiser

Pivot compiled this report based on a survey it conducted with marketers and ad agency professionals, with the goal of measuring the interest in and utilization of social advertising. Top findings include:

  • 92% of marketers say social ads are valuable to their business
  • 85% of marketers are leveraging social ads or plan to by the first half of 2012
  • 86% of marketers report that demonstrating ROI is a “significant obstacle” or “sometimes an obstacle” to adopting social advertising (hint: if you’re in this boat, it’s time you leverage our Ad Engine!)

Chief Marketer

2011 Social Marketing Survey: Social Marketing Goes Mainstream

Another survey of marketers, Chief Marketer polled marketing professionals from brands and agencies across multiple sectors. Their takeaway: social marketing has gone from niche tactic to mainstream marketing tool. Top findings include:

  • 91% of marketers running social campaigns do so on Facebook
  • 52% of respondents cited difficulty in calculating ROI as their biggest frustration (again, if you fall in this camp, check out our Ad Engine!)
  • 45% of marketers increased their social marketing budget from 2010-2011, and 36% kept it the same

Chief Marketer 2011 Social Marketing Survey


The Grande Guide to Social Advertising

A guide as opposed to survey or case study findings, Eloqua published this e-book on the ins and outs of social media advertising. The guide underscores that while the primary objective of most social ads is to trigger an action, the secondary objective of permeating the viewer’s social graph via friend-to-friend connections is just as important. Some of our favorite takeaways:

  • 76% of all people who Like a brand welcome some form of advertising
  • Clients who Like Eloqua are 700% more likely to be brand promoters
  • 76% of Facebook users visit the site at least 30 times a month

TBG Digital

Global Facebook Advertising Report

In both the second and third quarters TBG Digital released reports based on over 250 billion Facebook ad impressions managed by the company’s ad platform. The report highlights key performance indicators on Facebook during those quarters, such as cost-per-clicks (CPCs) and cost-per-Likes (CPLs). Top findings include:

  • 17.5% increase in CTRs across 5 major markets from Q2 to Q3
  • CPCs decreased by 10.8% between Q2 and Q3
  • Keyword targeting can reduce CPLs by up to $0.40


Facebook Advertising Performance Benchmarks & Insights

Similar to TBG Digital, Webtrends released a report with Facebook advertising trends based on 4.5 billion impressions. Top findings include:

  • Facebook’s top advertisers increased ad spend 10 fold from 2009 to 2010
  • The propensity to click an ad increases with age, until age 65
  • CPCs increased from $0.27 to $0.49 on average from 2009 to 2010

Efficient Frontier

Global Digital Marketing Performance Report

Efficient Frontier, now part of Adobe’s Omniture, has software that spans search and Facebook advertising. This report pulls data from their platforms to help compare social and search. Top findings include:

  • Facebook ad CPCs increased 22% from Q1 to Q2
  • Facebook ad spend ranges from 2% to 25% of a brand’s search marketing budget
  • Every brand post on a Facebook page generated on average 100 comments in response

What reports would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

next post

But wait, there's more

Join Our Newsletter