Facebook marketers are achieving significant increases in engagement, according to a new report from Adobe.

Engagement – defined as likes, comments and shares – grew by 896% year-on-year, which the report says is largely attributable to the introduction of Facebook Timeline.

Other factors such as new acquisition and engagement metrics, and more effective social marketing also had an impact.

Adobe’s latest Digital Index report shows that mobile users now account for nearly one quarter of all Facebook engagement, up four-fold from the period prior to the Timeline format.

This reflects the huge increase in social networking on mobile, with a study by Deloitte showing that social is the third most popular smartphone activity behind email and search.


Adobe’s report shows that search spend on desktop continued to grow in Q3 2012, with the UK up a massive 36% YoY compared to 11% in the US.

But the increase in spend contributed to an 8% drop in ROI for UK marketers, though ROI in the US was up 26%.

The European search market showed robust growth in terms of click volume and CPCs in Q3, which the report puts down to the fact that marketers are looking for measurable results through search.

This is supported by our interview with Notonthehighstreet.com’s senior marketing manager Jim Warren in which he said that the main reason his company spends 50% of its marketing budget on search is because it is “trackable.”

The UK stats show that clicks are up 22% YoY while CPCs increased 10%.

Click volume on Google in the US bounced back from a slight decline in Q2 to reach a new high up 21% on Q3 2011. Bing/Yahoo’s increase in click volume, which had surged in Q1 and Q2, fell 14% in Q3 but is still up 11% YoY.

Bing/Yahoo also lost 1.5% of US click share due to a growth in mobile search traffic where CPCs are cheaper and Google is more dominant.

Looking at CPCs, Google recovered slightly in Q3 but is still down 10% compared to Q3 2011 while Bing/Yahoo CPCs are up 6%.

Adobe attributes Google’s decline to an increase in share of mobile clicks, where CPCs are cheaper. In comparison Bing/Yahoo’s increase is put down to a recovery in the finance industry, as CPCs in that sector tend to be of high value so have a higher impact on the overall CPC average.

Mobile search

As mobile search traffic increases it is becoming more important for marketers to capture mobile conversions.

The report shows that iOS outperforms Android in nearly all criteria, with conversions rates by industry almost double on iOS than on Google’s operating system.

Likewise, across geographies, iOS conversion rates were significantly higher across the board, with overall conversion rates up to 93% higher than Android conversion rates. 

Higher conversion when matched with an 18% lower CPC gives iOS search traffic a huge edge in ROI with two times the ROI of Android search traffic.