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28/02/2012 by

The 2012 Global Social Network Ad Revenues

We are in several panels and we frequently brief CMOs on digital marketing and media trends. So here is the 2012 outlook for the global social network ad revenues. They continue to grow and below article will help CMOs to shape their social media budgets.

The 2012 Global Social Network Ad Revenues

Global social network ad revenues are still going strong and set to grow nearly 50% this year, according to eMarketer estimates. 47% of the revenues will come from the US in 2012.

Not only brands, also media agencies, digital and digital boutique agencies will need to embrace this trend.

Brands will spend $7.72 billion on social network advertising in 2012, including paid advertising on social sites and in social games and applications.

But be aware, this excludes ad revenues from social videos and blogvertising! So total social media advertising revenues are much bigger in 2012 than the $7.72 billion.

This year’s social network advertising spend will grow even faster than in 2011, which got to $5.20 billion.

Forecast for social network ad revenues in 2013 is $10.24 billion and for 2014 the forecast is $11.87billion.

Why are these benchmarks so important to CMOs? Well for example take this benchmark: 2.000 is the number of marketers that Unilever has put through its digital training academy since CMO Keith Weed took over in 2010.

So we do advice other CMOs to follow Keith’s example: send marketers to digital marketing and media courses. Get the right agencies on your roster; agencies can help you with important benchmarks.

For example take a look at this breakdown of social media marketing budgets here at ViralBlog: How CMOs should budget Social Media. It shows how CMOs can get their budgets right: on FTEs, on Social Media and on Technology.

How will be social ad revenue pie be split among social networks?
The blue monster called Facebook is the most greedy recipient of most of these social network ad revenues, taking in around 71% of all social network ad revenues in the US in 2012.

Social games might grab 7% of these revenues in 2012. Twitter’s share might be 6% in the US. Next is LinkedIn with 4%, mainly B2B. Other social networks might get a total of 12%. All based on the US.

No wonder then that WPP owned Buddy Media decided to acquire London-based Brighter Option, a Facebook ad serving specialist, last week.

Just like Keith Weed, it seems that WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell is betting on digital and social media.

How would Google shareholders react, when they see that Facebook is grabbing 71% of the social network ad revenues in the US? Is that why ex Google CEO Eric Schmidt is selling 0.8% of his Google shares for the amount $1.5 billion now?

And, how will this forecast impact Facebook’s future IPO? Since 71% is more than significant and even stunning…

Unilever CMO Keith Weed and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell at Cannes.

What might help CMOs to decided based on their Brand and Business objectives is this 2011 CMO landscape. It will explain CMOs what social channels work for i.e. branding, business, sales or seo.

Please promise me NOT to chase social media channels like a race dog on steroids, before you have completed your social media marketing strategy, in which you should be very aware that social media marketing should go beyond: just reaching your targets.

That’s plain social advertising, but engagement and Social CRM should be part of your social marketing strategy as well. Think how your brand is going to add some extra relevancy and/or meaningfulness to the lives of your targets.

So get your insights right, don’t chase channels, is my core message as CSO to CMOs.

What About You?

How will you be planning your social marketing and social network advertising budgets for 2012? Will you buy friends and likes? Will you put your money into social video distribution and blog outreach? Or will you invest your budget into creating your owned powerful social media channel?

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Want more social insights? Browse our category Social Media, follow Igor Beuker on Twitter, grab our RSS Feed, join our Facebook movement or subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter.

About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.


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