Important Social Media Advertising Stats You Need To Know

In case you haven't noticed, social media advertising continues to explode. Why is that? Because it works. With networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the forefront of social media advertising, more and more businesses are allocating a larger percentage of their overall marketing budgets to social due to the effectiveness of it. Where else can you achieve such segmentation and visual interaction? With so much money being thrown around, it makes sense that networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat have been stepping up their social media advertising game in recent years to cash in while the iron is hot. 

Check out these important social media advertising stats we feel you need to know - who knows, if you've been on the fence about investing in social, these may give you the push to jump into the deep end and join the social media advertising bandwagon!

Social Media Advertising Spending

In a report from the Statistics Portal, social media advertising budgets have doubled over the past two years from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. The United States is the largest social media advertising market with a projected spending of $13.5 billion this year. However, despite these huge numbers, a surprising 46% of B2B marketers say they are unsure if their social channels have actually generated any revenue for their brands.

In an infographic by Invesp, the social media advertising revenue in the US is estimated to reach $15 billion in 2018, an increase of more than 194%! Mobile revenues for social ads in the US are expected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $7.6 billion in 2018, a 38.3% growth rate!

Growth Of Mobile Social Ad Revenue

While North America has the biggest share of the pie, other regions are also keeping up with the trend with a 26.3% increase in global spending this year for social ads. Proof that social media and social media advertising is a global phenomenon. 

Advertising agency Zenith Optimedia has predicted that global advertising expenditure on social media will account for 20% of all internet advertising in 2019, hitting $50 billion. The amount is just one percent smaller than newspaper ads, predicting a complete overtake by 2020.

How expensive do you consider paid social media advertising to be? According to a survey of 200 business-to-business marketers in the United States, 50.9% of them consider the cost-per-lead of paid social leads to be very low cost or somewhat low cost. In comparison, 42.5% of them gave the same answers for leads generated from search engine marketing and 20.1% answered the same for leads generated from traditional media such as print, radio, or TV advertising.

Cost Per Lead Comparison Of Different Marketing Channels

Social Media Advertising Stats Broken Down By Network


With its 1.94 billion monthly users as of Q1 2017, Facebook is indeed the biggest social network in the world. This is why many brands are comfortable experimenting with ads on Facebook than anywhere else. Plus, it has a proven track record when it comes to social media advertising.

Facebook's ad revenue is exploding at a rapid rate, growing 53% from 2015 to 2016. Ad revenue in 2015 came to $5.64 billion, while 2016 grew to an astonishing $8.62 billion. Those numbers truly depict just how many marketers are making Facebook a bigger focus of their digital marketing, largely due in part to the effectiveness of the campaigns.

Still a big believer in general web retargeting ads? Think about these stats for a minute: Facebook desktop ads have an 8.1X higher CTR than those ads and Facebook mobile ads have a 9.1X higher CTR. When you consider the survey above and the marketers ranking social advertising lead costs as being cheaper than search engine advertising lead costs, and the fact that Facebook ads blend far better than search engine ads do and are interactive, it's no wonder the CTRs are so much higher.

Social Report Free Trial Offer


Twitter's ad revenue numbers haven't looked too good as of late - Q4 2016 ad revenue was $637.8 million, but Q1 2017 brought a significant drop, with total ad revenue coming to $473.8 million.

Actual ad performance, on the other hand, is excelling on Twitter. The completion rate for live video ads is 95%. Live video ads have been an attractive social advertising option to marketers, but it's worth noting these numbers could be skewed, as users may have to watch the ad in its entirety in order to get to the actual content. Blocked ads also weren't accounted for in this metric. 

Ad engagement is on the rise, while ad costs are on the decline, bringing more good news to those purchasing ads on Twitter. Between Q1 2015 and Q4 2016, the number of times people engage with ads on Twitter (this could include clicking on a link within the ad, watching the video, retweeting them, etc), has increased 151% year over year. And between Q3 2015 and Q4 2016, how much money Twitter makes per ad engagement has decreased quite a bit, down a grand total of 60% as of Q4 2016.

Twitter Ad Engagement On The Rise


With over 600 million active monthly users (400 million users actively use Instagram daily, surpassing the daily use of Twitter and Snapchat), Instagram expects their mobile ad revenues to reach $2.81 billion this year! Considering how young Instagram is, it's crazy to consider that number accounts for 10% of Facebook's global ad revenue (Facebook is the parent company of Instagram).

Increase In Instagram Mobile Ad Revenue

US companies are flocking to Instagram for marketing activities. In 2015, 32.3% of companies in the US with at least 100 employees were using Instagram for marketing activities. That number jumped to 48.8% in 2016, and by this year, it will jump to a whopping 70.7% of US companies. That number will, for the first time, edge out Twitter.

According to a 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report published by Social Media Examiner, up from 52% in 2015, 57% of marketers plan to increase their use of Instagram. Also, business-to-consumer marketers are significantly more likely, 63%, to increase their Instagram activities than business-to-business marketers, 48%.


YouTube Ecosystem

The top 100 global brands have quite a presence on YouTube - they've published a total of 258,000 videos across 1,378 YouTube channels, bringing in over 9.5 billion total views. Pretty impressive - and the top brands are taking advantage of targeted YouTube advertising on a consistent basis.

TrueView ads (known as in-stream ads and video discovery ads) can deliver powerful results on YouTube - check out these stats:

  • Viewers who watch at least 30 seconds of TrueView ads or complete them in their entirety are 23X more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel, watch more content by that brand, or share the brand video they watched.
  • Even if viewers don't complete TrueView ads, but are just exposed to them, they are still 10X more likely to take one of the above actions.
  • Brands who use TrueView ads see views of existing video content increase by up to 500% after posting new videos.


Snapchat has a highly engaged audience - with over 160 million daily active users (that number has grown from 50 million in 2014) with their users spending 30+ minutes in the app daily.

Snapchat User Engagement

A sponsored lens on Snapchat come with a hefty price tag associated with them. According to the Wall Street Journal, brands can expect to pay upwards of $450,000 to $750,000 per day for this highly interactive form of advertising. Snapchat anticipates generating $770 million in ad revenue this year.

According to Snapchat, 60% of their ads are watched with sound on and their geo-filtered ads that are delivered nationally will be seen by 40-60% of their daily users.


As of April 2017, Pinterest now has 175 million monthly active users. Much of their recent growth has come from international markets. According to Pinterest, "For example, we’ve seen 3x year over year growth in Germany and Brazil and 2x year over year growth in France and Japan."

Pinterest User Growth

Pinterest generates all of its revenue from advertising and is expected to pull in more than $500 million in revenue this year, with some believing that number could reach as high as $600 million. Pinterest generated over $300 million in revenue last year, so even if they pull in revenue closer to the $500 million range, that would still represent a growth of at least 67%. Not too shabby for a company that just started selling advertising a few years ago and only offers one form of paid ads, Promoted Pins.

According to Pinterest, in excess of 75% of the Pins saved to Pinterest come from businesses. And when someone saves a Promoted Pin, others see that Pin within their feed. Advertisers on Pinterest receive, on average, 20% more free clicks in the month after launching a Promoted Pin campaign.