Ad spend in social media in the U.S. to surpass $11 billion in 2017, Mintel predicts

Even if you never click on banner ads or sponsored posts on Facebook — don’t make hasty judgement: you might be in minority. As Mintel, the world’s leading market analysis firm reports, social advertising spend is on the rise and may surpass $11 billion in 2017 in the U.S.

Defining the drivers of the growth, the relatively new form of paid media, so-called native ads, may even outperform traditional display advertising, increasing from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $9.4 billion in 2018. These predictions mean that advertiser realize the increasing importance of social media channel, but does it deliver a return?

Earlier in June, Mintel asked 2,000 American respondents if social media drove their purchase decision and nearly 40% people agreed that it «had some influence.» More specifically, 21% of 18-34-year-old men reported that they purchased a product by clicking a social media ad. The general index is lower though: just 9% of all respondents of all ages and both genders admitted that they’ve ever bought a product after seeing ads in social networks.

The large majority of surveyed people (79%) said that they have viewed or shared content from a company or visited its social media page, about 28% confessed they visited a company’s website after seeing a brand ad on some social network and nearly 25% continued looking for information on a product or service on search engines after seeing a social ad.

Regarding the popularity of different social media sites, the respondents considered Facebook to be most popular (86%), followed by YouTube (60%), Google+ (43%), Twitter (37%), LinkedIn (30%), Pinterest (30%) and Instagram (28%). Earlier in July, New York Times reported in the first quarter of 2014 Facebook had ad revenue of $2.91 billion, up 61% from $1.81 billion during the same period last year. Analysts referred this success to the growing number of mobile Facebook users: the platform has on average more than 650 million daily active users as of June 2014.

The full Mintel’s report on the social media ad spend in the U.S. can be purchased here.