Paid Social Media Cheat Sheet

UK brands spend £328 million on social media advertising in 2012 – an increase of 24% over 2011.

This growth in paid social media isn’t hard to explain.

While brands are keen to distinguish themselves from their rivals by building large followings social networks are constantly experimenting with ways of better monetising their huge user numbers.

They offer countless options for targeting audiences, based not just on demographic data but on the interests of users and who else they interact with.

They also deliver advertising to users in a more subtle way than display ads (which most of us have learned to ignore by now), often making it appear as if ads are served up organically by a user’s network rather than actively by paid channels.

The range of different social media advertising methods is constantly changing – as the networks work hard to find a balance between ads and organic content that their users are comfortable with – and as such is hard to keep track of. We put all the pertinent information – where the ads are displayed, how they appear, the cost models etc – into this single up-to-date (for the moment) table.

It’s your paid social media cheat sheet

(It’s packed with data so you might need to open the full size image in order to read it.)



Our aim is to keep this chart as up to date as possible so please let us know if we’re missing anything.

Notable by their absence

Several social networking sites are on the verge of capitalising on their rapidly growing user numbers and you can expect them to make it into this chart very soon.

Pinterest has already put analytics in place for brands and has started trialing promoted posts.

Instagram has recently been acquired by Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg has been very candid about the hopes for introducing paid advertising.

As the number of photos shared on Snapchat races past the 50 million per day mark CEO Evan Spiegel is making no bones about the intention to introduce advertising (with in-app purchases likely to be first on the agenda).

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  1. Jamie Griffiths says:

    Thanks to Ivan Bildi for pointing out that YouTube offers CPV pricing.

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