Ad spend on social networks continues to rise, and the Big 3—Facebook, Twitter and YouTube—continue to dominate. A recent survey conducted by Ad Age indicates that marketers plan to increase their spending with all three social networks.

Social media advertising becoming increasingly important

In a report dated March 12, RBC Capital Markets analysts examined the survey and gave their ideas about what the results mean for the major social networks. One thing they noticed is that the percentage of participants who said social media made up less than 10% of their marketing budget dropped to 48%. In the last three surveys, the percentage was between 50% and 62%. (All graphs in this report are courtesy RBC Capital Markets.)

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The RBC team expects spending in this area to keep “growing robustly,” as 75% of the participants of their survey in February said they expect their spend on social media to increase. They found that 24% expect it to stay the same, while only 1% expect it to decline.

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Advertisers to increase ad spend on Facebook, Twitter

The survey indicated that Google was on top for return on investment. It should be noted that this question dealt with all major online advertising platforms. Facebook was at the top with Google, while YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn were in the middle and Yahoo and AOL were at the bottom in terms of return on investment.

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It should come as no surprise that the greatest majority of Facebook advertisers (62%) plan to increase their ad spend with the social network. The survey also indicates that 54% of Twitter advertisers also plan to increase their spending with the platform. Only small percentages of marketers plan to decrease their spending on social media platforms.

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Facebook results very positive, Twitter mixed

The RBC analysts note that the results for Facebook in the survey were very positive. The social network tied for having the highest number of advertisers planning to increase their spending and the highest percentage of marketers spending at least 21% of their budget on Facebook.

Also more than half believed their return on investment on the social network has risen in the last six months. They survey also shows traction in auto-play video ads and Instagram.

The big problem for Twitter, however, was the decline in results from previous surveys. Also the micro-blogging platform had the weakest result in ad budget allocation, expected future spending and overall satisfaction. The bright areas are perceived return on investment and plans to increase budgets.

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