Social networking has officially gone mainstream in the corporate world, with at least 80% of companies using the medium for marketing purposes.
Recent statistics show a growing number of businesses are exploring paid advertisements on social networks beyond standard tweets and Facebook posts.
According to research from the Pivot Conference, two-thirds of marketers surveyed are advertising on social networks, 54% of whom are satisfied with their efforts. 18% of those not yet on social networks for advertising purposes plan to do so in the next year.
Ads on Facebook and Twitter account for the majority of social advertising, although Twitter adverts are still lagging compared to Facebook.
9 out of 10 respondents use Facebook for advertising, while approximately 78% use Twitter for advertising. eMarketer estimates the numbers will contribute between $2.19 billion and $140 million in revenues for social networking sites.
The survey also cited a growing number of advertisers on sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, and FourSquare, with estimates that approximately 20% of advertisers will break into secondary social sites within the next year.
Advertisers using Facebook seem happy, as the majority rated FB's ad offerings excellent or good. In contrast, only 11% of Twitter advertisers agreed on the excellent or great rating, despite Twitter being the number two ranked social site for advertising. Then again, with Twitter advertising in its infancy, there is a good chance its rating will increase as the company continues to expand its advertising options.
The survey also measured understanding of social advertising, which indicated a need for widespread education on the subject.
83% of respondents were under the impression that blogging or tweeting using a company's name was social advertising. Although such a notion isn't technically inaccurate, there are all sorts of paid options available as well. 69% cited paid placements or visibility programs as social advertising.
Perhaps not unsurprisingly, Facebook, the social site with the highest rated ad platform, is also the platform making the most effort to educate and promote business.
Recently launching Facebook.com/business, the site is trying to open doors to its corporations. The move stands in sharp contrast to Google+ and its decision to shut out businesses - at least at this stage.