Facebook to Surpass Yahoo! in Display Ad Revenues This Year
More than one in five US display dollars will go to the social network
For the first time, the largest share of US display ad revenues will go to Facebook, eMarketer estimates. The social network’s 80.9% growth in display ad revenues, to $2.19 billion this year, will mean Facebook sees 21.6% of all US display ad dollars.
That will put it ahead of Yahoo!, where eMarketer estimates display revenues will be up 16%. Yahoo!’s market share will inch up to 16.4%, while display gains at Google push the site’s share of display spending to 12.6%. Meanwhile, AOL will drop from 5.3% of display ad revenues in 2010 to 4.4% this year.
“Yahoo!’s US display ad revenues will increase by double digits each year from 2010 through 2012. Despite that, not only will Facebook’s display revenues surpass Yahoo!’s this year, Google’s revenues will exceed Yahoo!’s next year,” said David Hallerman, principal analyst at eMarketer. “What that leapfrogging trend confirms is the strong demand among brand marketers for online display ad placements.”
In the search market, Google will solidify its position as the top site with an increase in market share of nearly 4 percentage points, to 75.2%. eMarketer expects Microsoft, where search revenues will be up 16.4% in 2011, to increase its market share slightly for the next two years, while search revenues at Yahoo! will continue a slow decline, dropping to $1.1 billion this year from $1.28 billion in 2010.
Netflix’s biggest competition: Facebook?
Netflix is fast becoming the king of digital movies, and is one of Hollywood’s biggest
frenemies. But even though Netflix would appear to be sitting pretty, it
may have some stiff competition soon.
This week, Warner Bros. announced that it will be offering streaming movies through the fan pages the studio operates on Facebook. In the near future, Facebook users will be able to download movies.
Warner Bros. is starting its Facebook effort with The Dark Knight, one of its biggest blockbuster hits. The Facebook fan page for Dark Knight is a popular one and has nearly 4m fans. Those fans will be able to watch the movie from within Facebook by clicking on a “Watch” tab and paying 30 Facebook Credits ($3).
According to Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.“
One analyst at Goldman Sachs (whose obvious bias should be noted) thinks Facebook “could some day become a credible threat to Netflix.” But that sort of talk seems more hype than substance at this point, as it’s unclear whether the site’s massive audience will translate to rental sales. Sure, Warner Bros. has 4m potential customers on its Dark Knight fan page, but how many will really want to watch the movie from this page?
The advantage that companies that have their own websites have is that they control the user experience. As with everything on Facebook (such as Facebook Comments), companies aren’t free to do what they’d like, which even if it doesn’t prove to be a total conversion and satisfaction killer, means that many companies may find Facebook a tricky distribution and commerce platform to master.
Social Media Now Top Marketing Pick for Local Businesses
Social media marketing is the big winner with local businesses in the marketing method sweepstakes, according to a new survey. But social media’s win comes at the expense of traditional offline marketing methods, which continue to decline.
The survey data revealed that local merchants, who usually have very limited time and money for marketing, are increasingly gravitating toward marketing methods such as Facebook and other social media, as well as toward tried-and-true online methods like search and e-mail marketing.
According to the MerchantCircle quarterly confidence index of 8,500 small and local businesses across the U.S., more than half of local merchants are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing, and 60 percent have no plans to raise their budgets this year. This places a premium on cost-effective marketing.
Facebook is the clear category leader, according to the survey. Because of its huge consumer adoption, ease-of-use and low barrier to entry, the social media network continues to be a popular way for merchants to market their businesses, with 70 percent using Facebook for marketing, up from 50 percent a year ago.
Twitter has also grown in popularity over the past year, MerchantCircle said, with nearly 40 percent of local merchants using the platform to build awareness and community around their products and services. This is up from 32 percent in the last quarter of 2009.
Offline marketing has been the loser with local businesses. During 2010, print advertising dropped by 33 percent, use of print Yellow Pages decreased 18 percent and use of direct mail fell by 26 percent.
Seven tips for embracing social commerce
commerce is being tipped as one of this year’s major online growth areas.
Groupon now officially the fastest growing company ever and retailers
announcing new Facebook stores on a weekly basis, the tipping point seems to
have been reached.
And it is hardly surprising that social
commerce is so popular. Recent research from Forbes demonstrates exactly how
valuable Facebook Fans are to a brand.
- They are 41% more likely to recommend a
- 28% more likely to continue using them in the future.
- Fans are worth on average $136.38 to a business and spend
$71.84 more per year.
But for many companies,
social commerce is confusing. They have lots of questions about how to
effectively implement a strategy and are unsure about the best route to take.
The truth is that social commerce doesn’t
need to be difficult. In fact, there are many very cost effective ways to get a
social commerce strategy off the ground. It’s also important not to rush into
anything and do proper research.
Before getting stuck in, check your
analytics package to see what sort of traffic you are getting from the social
web at the moment and how well this traffic converts.
Understand how social your customers are
If you aren’t already doing much on a
social network, now is the time to put your toes in the water and see how your
customers react. Social media isn’t necessarily going to be a winner for every
company and every audience.
Start using your Facebook page to promote products
The obvious next step when you are sure
there is an appetite for social commerce is to begin marketing products on your
‘Socialise’ your website
Another easy first step is to add social
media sharing links to your website. Adding ‘like’ or ‘tweet this’ buttons is a
great way to encourage visitors to share content with their like-minded friends
on social networks.
Use a Facebook shopping app
ASOS recently became the first UK company
to launch an F-commerce (that’s Facebook Commerce) site, but they certainly
won’t be the last. If your customers are using Facebook regularly, then it
makes sense to let them shop there too rather than leaving to go to your
Investigate bespoke solutions
If you want to go for something more
bespoke, then there are lots of options out there that will turn your Facebook
account into a fully functional e-commerce platform.
Don’t just sell
The final point to make is that social
commerce shouldn’t be all about selling. The companies that are achieving the
best results here are using the social web (whether on their own site or on
social networks) to add value to their customers’ shopping experience.
What does the future hold for f-commerce?
Yesterday afternoon, I had serious WTF moment as I read an article titled “Facebook has limited future in e-commerce”.
The basis of the piece was more of a news-feature than opinion, founded around a piece of research from Shoppercentric. I really feel that the conclusions that have been drawn seem to be fairly short-sighted.
My first point is that although a thousand consumers were assessed, it’s UK-based. This is a horribly important fact that seems to have been somewhat overlooked.
Looking at Facebook’s overall demographics, the US user-base is more than five times greater than the UK. It’s a matter of size and scale and, as a general rule, this is why the USA is, more often than not, the canary in the coal mine for the digital industry. When it comes to f-commerce, this is no exception.
Here’s some killer examples of brands selling on Facebook.
See my point? Pretty much all of them are USA access-only, likely because with a larger captive audience, there’s more room for brands to experiment in order to find out what works: An important part of retailing, online and offline.
So, moving this back across the pond, to the UK. We all heard the news a few weeks ago that ASOS and French Connection are upping their f-commerce activities and it’s more than likely that this will set the benchmark for a lot of retailers in the fashion sector. And that’s just one industry.
As in the examples I’ve given, most things can be sold online. Facebook is just a platform extension to e-commerce, limited only by their internal regulations for commercial brands.
Looking forward, the news that Facebook is scrapping FBML in a few weeks time, to replace it with iFrames means that the floodgates will be opened to online retailers.
This move to iFrames means three key things for commercial Facebook pages: Better design, better tracking and better selling functionality.
Twitter enables the sort of chitchat impossible among strangers on email or instant messaging, and outside the scope of Facebook. Facebook’s boss, Mark Zuckerberg, often describes his service as a way to connect with friends you already have. Facebook creates circles upon circles of acquaintance, but most conversation is among those already known to each other.
Twitter, however, is a different beast. The asymmetry of follower and followee creates a different rhythm, allowing the possibility of falling into conversation with an unknown someone without invading his or her space. It is a simple matter to ignore or block those who you find uninteresting. And people you know and trust outside the electronic realm lead you to their friends, colleagues and family. Likewise, you may be on the receiving end of tendrils of acquaintance. The shared set of relationships and communication among those you know vets new people for you and you for them.
Tweaks made to Twitter a few months ago that make a real-time stream generally available—instead of the retrieval of periodic updates—have blurred the lines between synchronous communications like chat and asynchronous methods such as email and forum commenting. Direct messaging on Twitter, a one-to-one method that may take place only between two parties who mutually follow each other, provides a trimmed-down email analogue without the weightiness and effort associated with handling yet more messages. Continuous speech is more or less possible without the overhead and commitment of a chat room or an instant-message session.