Key findings show that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr drove an unprecedented amount of qualified traffic to retail sites in Q4 with revenue per visit (RPV) increasing across social channels.
Tumblr RPV rose 340% year-over-year (YoY), followed by Pinterest (244%), Twitter (131%) and Facebook (72%). The data also confirms that Facebook is facing increased competition with share of referred visits to retail sites growing the fastest YoY for Twitter and Pinterest, 125 and 89% respectively.
The analysis is based on aggregated and anonymous data from retail, media, entertainment, and travel sites between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013 including 240 billion Facebook ad impressions, more than 1.5 billion Facebook posts, 500 million unique visitors to social networking sites, and 6.3 billion social engagements on Facebook including comments, shares and likes. Paid social data is derived from Adobe Marketing Cloud
"We expect Facebook's competitors to aggressively drive market share growth in 2014 by adding innovative paid media capabilities," said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index, Adobe. "Optimising campaign spending across social channels and seeking a balance between CPCs and CPMs to drive ROI will become even more important."
Paid Social Trends: Facebook ads are becoming increasingly attractive to brand marketers due to growing consumer engagement. Facebook's ad click through rate (CTR) is up 365% YoY and Facebook cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) increased 437% YoY. Facebook CPCs were even YoY, with the exception of a 29% spike during the holiday season. Facebook ad click volume is up 125% YoY.
Owned Social Trends: RPV hit an all-time high across all social media channels, especially during the holiday season, with quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) gains for Twitter (84%), Pinterest (69%), Tumblr (38%) and Facebook (31%). While Facebook is still referring the most traffic, Pinterest overtook Facebook for referring revenue in Q4 in the UK and is expected to surpass Facebook's RPV in the U.S. this year.
Earned Social Trends: Social engagement with brand posts on Facebook rose 180% YoY and brand post impressions are up 150% YoY. Brand posts with images produced a 650% higher engagement rate than regular text posts (up 10%), while posts with links, text or video yielded less engagement YoY.