Social Media ROI Lessons from Business Insider

Source: “The State of Social Media 2012″ from Business Insider.

It’s Wednesday, and here in New York we are right smack in the middle of Advertising Week, the annual gathering of the world leaders in marketing and communications. AdWeek started in 2004 and has since grown to feature over 200 different events focusing on key drivers that are shaping the global advertising community.

Several of our team members are attending the events, and next week we hope to share with you the most interesting things they learn.

For now, we’d like to contribute to the week by sharing some very interesting data put out by Business Insider. Last week, the publication held its own conference, Social Media ROI Week. They launched with “The State of Social Media 2012,” a detailed deck analyzing how much money advertisers invest in social media and whether or not they are seeing a return.

Source: “The State of Social Media 2012″ from Business Insider.

In addition to some statistics about Facebook’s user base, growth, and the time users spend on the social network, the deck shows that the top shopping priorities of social media users are music, shoes, and sex—in that order. To target these users, marketers spent over $1 billion on social advertising each quarter, with $992 million of it going to Facebook.

Another chart showed the 10 brands that spend the most on social media. According to comScore, AT&T was by far the biggest, with nearly 13 million impressions served. The second largest was Microsoft at only 4 million impressions.

Source: “The State of Social Media 2012″ from Business Insider.

But are marketers seeing a profit? According to BI, the problem is that Facebook and LinkedIn only give anecdotal evidence; such as Accenture using LinkedIn for save $150,000 on recruitment or Electronic Arts attributing $12.1 million of sales to Facebook ads, a 4.4x ROI. Twitter doesn’t even make its ROI data public, but there are still anecdotal case studies to show that it works.

The bottom line, wrote BI, is that, “in e-commerce, it’s still email and search that does the heavy lifting. Social has a ways to grow.” You can check out the rest of the presentation here.

It will be very interesting this week to see how the world’s leading marketers respond to this data. How do they plan to use social? Will they help it grow? We hope to bring you some exciting answers next week.