Facebook still dominated among social networks driving users to retail sites in the fourth quarter of 2013, but it continues to face growing threats from both Pinterest and, surprisingly, Tumblr, according to results from the Q4 2013 Social Media Intelligence Report from Adobe, released Monday.
Adobe analyzed some 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 (comments, shares, and likes) between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013.
Adobe Digital Index Marketing Analytics Manager Joe Martin said in an interview with AllFacebook that fourth-quarter results tend to be impacted by the fact that it is a particularly strong time period for sectors such as retail, travel, and movies.
On the subject of Tumblr, Martin said it is taking advantage of the fact that its image-based content is “different from Twitter and its 140 characters,” adding that Tumblr “became a player in the retail space” in recent quarters.
Other findings released by Adobe Monday included:
- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr “drove an unprecedented amount of qualified traffic to retail sites,” with Tumblr’s revenue per visit skyrocketing 340 percent year over year, followed by Pinterest (244 percent), Twitter (131 percent), and Facebook (72 percent).
- Twitter and Pinterest saw the largest gains in referred visits to retail sites, at 125 percent and 89 percent, respectively.
- Growing consumer engagement continued to propel Facebook, which saw its click-through rates rise 365 percent year-over-year, while costs per thousand impressions (CPMs) were up 437 percent. Cost per click was even year-over-year, save for a 29 percent spike during the holiday season, and ad click volume rose 125 percent.
- Quarterly RPV gains were: 84 percent for Twitter, 69 percent for Pinterest, 38 percent for Tumblr, and 31 percent for Facebook.
- Pinterest overtook Facebook in terms of referring revenue in the U.K. in the fourth quarter, and Adobe expects the same thing to happen in the U.S. at some point during 2014.
- Social engagement with brand posts on Facebook was up 180 percent year-over-year, and brand post impressions rose 150 percent.
- Brand posts with images delivered an engagement rate 650 percent higher than that for text-only posts, while posts with links, text, or videos saw lower engagement year-over-year.
Adobe Digital Index Principal Analyst Tamara Gaffney said in a release announcing the results:
We expect social ad revenue to continue to grow in 2014 as social media networks add more paid media capabilities and marketers allocate dollars across search, display, and social. Optimizing campaign spending across social channels and seeking a balance between CPCs and CPMs to drive ROI will become even more important.
Readers: Did any of Adobe’s findings surprise you?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.