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Among Facebook audiences worldwide, engagement with brands, via likes, comments, and shares, is surging in 2012, according to report by Adobe.

The findings are based on Adobe's Digital Index, which covers some 260 billion ad impressions across 338 companies as well as Facebook activity among roughly 70 million fans.

As of the third quarter of 2012, engagement levels with Facebook brand posts jumped 896% over those recorded a year earlier (index base of 100%). The figures below show quarterly index changes over the 3Q11 baseline for brand post engagement:

Those increases in engagement are due to three main factors, according to Adobe:

  1. Brands' adopting Facebook's Timeline feature, introduced in late 2011.
  2. The adoption of new acquisition and engagement metrics.
  3. More effective social marketing by brands.

Below, other findings issued by Adobe.

Smartphones may also have contributed to the spike in engagement.

Mobile users accounted for nearly one-fourth (24%) of all Facebook engagement in 3Q12, up fourfold from the period prior to the Timeline format change:

Other key findings for the third quarter of 2012:

  • US search spend grew 11% YOY, while search ROI improved 26%. Growth rates for search spend in the UK and Germany rose 36% and 25%, respectively.
  • Google CPCs decreased 10% YOY, likely attributed to an increasing share of mobile clicks, for which CPCs are less expensive.
  • Conversion rates among various mobile operating systems are becoming more important due to continued growth in mobile search traffic. A comparison of iOS vs. Android device traffic revealed nearly twice the monetization advantage for iOS.

Adobe also issued projections for the fourth quarter of 2012:

  • Search spend in the US and Europe is expected to rise in 4Q12, particularly in the retail segment given robust channel growth, high ROI, and the upcoming holiday season. Growth rates of 15-20% in both countries are projected along with increased CPCs.
  • Mobile traffic is forecast to maintain steady growth with 20% of paid-search clicks originating via tablet or smartphone. Marketers will likely place more emphasis on driving mobile traffic to their sites by tailoring campaigns for various mobile operating systems.
  • Brand engagement via Facebook is expected to surge in 4Q12 as brands continue to invest in social marketing and take advantage of the latest Facebook platform changes (e.g., Timeline) to target consumers.

About the data: Findings are based on Adobe's Digital Index, which covers some 260 billion ad impressions across 338 companies and Facebook activity for 70 million fans, captured by Adobe AdLens and Adobe Social for the third quarter of 2012. All brands are Adobe clients from a range of industries, including automotive, CPG, financial services, media, entertainment, and retail.

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