With the popularity of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, it should be no surprise that advertisers are getting their money’s worth out of their investments. A new report from eMarketer, titled “Social Advertising Effectiveness Scorecard: Industry Execs Grade the Leading Platforms”, gave these marketers an opportunity to rate the best sites out there to see which made the biggest impact.

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The chart shows all the ratings, with Facebook faring the best out of the “big three” with a B+ rating, followed by Twitter with a B- and Linkedin with a C+. Meanwhile, out of the three emerging social networks, Pinterest fared the best with a B, followed by Instagram with a C+ and Snapchat with a C-.

“The executives we interviewed said one of the key strengths of paid social media advertising is its targeting capabilities,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “Marketers consider Facebook an extremely sophisticated targeted advertising platform, while Pinterest benefits from its strong connections with ecommerce and purchase intent.”

These results were measured across a number of categories, including creative capabilities, ad targeting, measurement and ROI, according to eMarketer. In general, paid social media advertising fared around an average grade of B. It’s sufficient, but there’s need for improvement with better tools to make social media advertising even more effective.

As for ad targeting effectiveness, Facebook fared the best, with an A rating, according to the chart above. Linkedin and Twitter tied for second with a B rating when it came to the “big three.” As for up-and-coming networks, Instagram got the highest rating with a B, followed by Pinterest (C+) and Snapchat (C-).

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Other highlights from the eMarketer report are as follows:

  • LinkedIn’s highest grade came for ad targeting, for which it earned a B; advertisers gave it grades ranging from B- to C in other categories.
  • Twitter performed strongly in creative, ad targeting, measurement and analytics, building brand awareness, engagement and driving actions, all of which earned a B. It scored slightly lower for driving sales and for ROI.
  • Among the “Emerging Three” social ad properties (Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat), Instagram received high grades in creative and building brand awareness and engagement. However, the newness of its ad platform led to lower grades for things like measurement, driving actions and ROI.
  • Executives gave B grades to Pinterest in the majority of categories; only measurement and ad targeting fell into the C range.
  • Snapchat had strong marks for creative capabilities and building brand awareness, but the newness of its ad platform led to grades for the rest of the categories that were among the lowest of the properties studied.

eMarketer also noted that the video ad category played a part in the report. Executives gave an average rating of B+ to both Facebook and YouTube in this regard, based mainly on effectiveness. Twitter also got a decent grade with B-, though some execs questioned if it’s the best format to watch video on.

The full report can be found here, though a corporate subscription to eMarketer is required.

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