It may be getting harder for Facebook to stand out among other social sites for ad revenue, given the increasingly crowded space, but Adobe’s latest social media intelligence report for the first quarter of 2014 found that revenue referred from most social channels to retail sites dropped quarter-over-quarter, except for Facebook.
Facebook’s referred revenue-per-visit rose 2 percent quarter-over-quarter, while Twitter and Tumblr’s figure declined by 23 percent and 36 percent respectively. Year-over-year though, Tumblr’s referred revenue-per-visit was up 55 percent, followed by Facebook at 11 percent and Twitter at 5 percent.
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Adobe noted in its report: “While Pinterest and Tumblr are doing better than last year, they’re still unable to provide consistent referred revenue outside of the holiday shopping season. Facebook, however, continues to provide value year round.”
It’s worth noting for comparison that Shareaholic’s Q1 2014 numbers reflect a more positive outlook for Pinterest, with data showing that Pinterest’s referral traffic share grew 48 percent quarter-over-quarter, up from 4.79 percent to 7.10 percent. Meanwhile, Shareaholic also found that Facebook’s referral traffic share grew from 15.44 percent to 21.25 percent, while Twitter remained essentially flat — moving from 1.12 percent to 1.14 percent.
Adobe’s report also found that Facebook’s ad click-through rate jumped 160 percent year-over-year and was up 20 percent quarter-over-quarter. However, its cost-per-click declined 2 percent year-over-year and 11 percent quarter-over-quarter, with Adobe attributing it to a strong performance during the holiday season in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, Facebook ads with embedded videos are gaining traction. Adobe’s report found that Facebook video plays increased by 758 percent year-over-year and 134 percent quarter-over-quarter after auto-play for videos was introduced last quarter, while engagement with video posts rose 25 percent year-over-year and 58 percent quarter-over-quarter.
Senior analyst Joe Martin said: “Facebook is back at the top of the mountain… It was declining for some time, but now it’s at about 75 percent of retail referrer traffic, for example. All the other networks are still growing, but the majority of referring traffic is still attributed to Facebook. That means that Facebook’s adaptions for marketers are working.”
Adobe taps on aggregated data from Adobe Marketing Cloud to produce paid social data. Its overall estimates are based on 260 billion Facebook ad impressions, 226 billion Facebook post impressions, 17 billion referred visits from social networking sites, as well as seven billion brand post interactions including comments, likes and shares.
Charts via Adobe