Read the results of our survey into advertiser opinions and activities in the social advertising channel.

Channel Insights


We asked the 200 participants which social advertising products have been included in their plans in the past year:


When we examine the product breakdown according to spending levels, we can see that more engaging or more complex ad formats like video or extended display ads are more likely to be used by advertisers with a high social media ad spend.

66% of those in the high spend group included video ads in the social advertising plans, whereas a lesser 44% of those in the low spend group included video ads in their social advertising plans.

Likewise, when we look at the same data according to the advertiser’s ability in the social advertising channel, we can see the same effect. Those in the high ability group utilised a wider variety of social advertising products in the past year compared to those in the low ability group.

In the high ability group, 54% included standard display ads, 67% included promoted posts, 57% included video ads and 29% included extended display ads such as Facebook Canvas and Carousel Ads.

In the low ability group, 43% included standard display ads, 57% included promoted posts, 40% included video ads and 12% included extended display ads such as Facebook Canvas, Snapchat and Carousel Ads.


We also analysed the responses from this question according to whether the respondent’s business in-houses or outsources their social media advertising services. There were negligible differences in the responses between those two groups.


Promoted posts were the most popular of products with 61% of respondents using them over the last year.

Only 18% of those surveyed have used more complex ad types such as Facebook canvas ads.


We asked the 200 participants which platforms they felt best achieved specific advertising objectives including brand awareness, direct sales, video views, lead generation, reach and traffic generation.


Facebook’s advertising platform is widely regarded as the most useful, regardless of specific objective. Around 50% of our respondents ranked Facebook as the best-suited platform for delivering against each specific advertising objective.

Notable challengers are Instagram (albeit they are part of the Facebook advertising ecosystem) where 26% of respondents rated the platform’s usefulness for delivering video views, and Twitter which was rated most useful for lead generation by 21% of our respondents, and most useful for audience reach by 20% of our respondents.


We asked the 200 participants which social platforms they have been using for their marketing and advertising plans over the last 12 months:


Facebook was by far the most popular social ad platform for marketing and advertising in 2017 – with 79% of our 200 respondents having used it in the last 12 months.

Snapchat was used by 22% of our respondents – with the majority of those coming from our high spend group. This suggests those with higher budgets were keen to explore the new social marketing and advertising options presented by Snap in 2017.

38% of our respondents in the high spend group used Snapchat in their marketing and advertising plans, compared to just 19% of those in the low spend group.

Those in the high ability group utilised a more diverse range of social media platforms in their marketing and advertising strategies, with 90% using Facebook, 63% using Instagram and 28% using Snapchat.

The low ability group utilised fewer different social media platforms – 72% used Facebook, 45% used Instagram and 17% used Snapchat.

Those from the in-house group had also used a wider variety of social media platforms, including 18% using Pinterest – compared to just 5% of those in the outsourced group – this suggests outsourcing service providers tend to try out fewer different channels.


Facebook remains one of the most popular choices of social platform for marketing and advertising by some distance, with Instagram and Twitter also proving relatively popular. Snapchat remained relatively unexplored from a marketing and advertising perspective in 2017, yet it’s popularity among our high budget respondents suggests it has a place in future marketing and advertising plans.

There is a correlation between expenditure and the variety of social media platforms or advertising products utilised by the participants. Many of those in the low spend or low ability groups dedicated much of their time to a specific social platform, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, or product such as standard display advertising. It figures that with limited budgets, the appetite to test new products and channels has to be weighed against the risk that they won’t work as well as the status quo.