In our new Social Platforms report, social media as a driver of site traffic and sales was shown to be much less effective than prestige brands likely assumed. Facebook, as the leading global platform with 1.1 billion users, stands alone from the social crowd and continues to be ¬†an important digital strategy investment. Why? Because in the six months since Facebook incorporated behaviorally-based ads last December, it has become the source of nearly half (45 percent) all retargeted web clicks. Facebook has also smartly linked its FBX advertising to in-store loyalty programs through partnerships with BlueKai, Datalogix and several others. Then of course there’s mobile, an area where Facebook blew people away during its most recent earnings call–reporting¬†that the platform now accounted for 41 percent ($656 million) of total ad revenue and boasted an incredible 219 million mobile-only users.

Where Facebook’s growth among prestige brands is most significant might surprise you. In the chart below, which visualizes their Facebook page community sizes, engagement levels and overall growth, you can see that North America is at the bottom for the latter two metrics, handedly overtaken by Asia, which recently became the largest (aggregate) Facebook user base in the world and on average registers double the engagement of its American counterparts.


Prestige brands have increasingly turned to Asia and other emerging markets for Facebook expansion. The Facebook For Every Phone app, which works on more than 3,000 devices and recently hit 100 million downloads, is a clear play to users in these markets. In Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the two regions with the greatest overall growth this past year, both have more than doubled their fan bases since January. And after substantial growth in 2012, particularly among Brazilian prestige brand pages, Facebook communities in Latin America are by far the largest globally, averaging more than 700,000 fans each.

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