Social network ad spend in the U.S. 2016-2020

Every year billions of dollars are spent on advertising on social media in the United States. In 2018 the amount reached nearly 27 billion U.S. dollars, and included paid advertising on social networks as well as games and applications on social media. By 2020, advertisers are expected to spend over 10 billion dollars more on promoting their products on social networks. Facebook commands the lion’s share of these expenditures (more than 80 percent), followed by LinkedIn and Pinterest with four and two percent respectively.

Social network advertising – a closer look

  Studies show that a little over 90 percent of U.S. companies are and will be using social media for marketing purposes2. In 2017, social messaging and video were thought to be the trends of the future in relation to social media advertising and believed to have the biggest effect on marketing strategies. Lo and behold, advertising spending on social video has been growing ever since, and is expected to amount to nearly 15 billion U.S dollars in 2021. Even in this respect, Facebook has the lead, especially when it comes to influencer marketing. In fact, all tiers of influencers - from microinfluencers to celebrities - post the majority of their videos on Facebook. The second choice of platform to share their videos is YouTube, which despite being 'the' video sharing platform is not as popular yet among influencers most probably due to smaller user reach.

Social network advertising spending in the United States from 2016 to 2020

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Release date

February 2019


United States

Survey time period

2016 to 2018

Special properties

includes paid advertising appearing within social networks, social network games and social network applications; excludes spending by marketers that goes toward developing or maintaining a social network presence

Supplementary notes

* Forecast.

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Statistics on "Social media marketing"

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