Facebook (FB) now makes $2 billion in revenue every quarter, and $1.8 billion of that comes from paid advertising.
Yet remarkably little is known about who Facebook’s biggest advertisers are. Facebook does not disclose that information to the SEC, and its executives rarely talk about how much money individual clients spend on Facebook campaigns.
Nielsen doesn’t measure Facebook adspend. Kantar doesn’t either.
Just like last year, we asked internal sources at Facebook, as well as external executives at Facebook’s client companies, to tell us what they knew about Facebook’s top spenders. Our friends at ComScore also supplied us with some incredibly useful information about ad impressions served in social media. We also looked at previously published reports about ad spending on Facebook.
Combining that data together allowed us to rank the companies by dollars spent, for a period roughly covering the last 12 months. And we got lucky with one source, who estimated adspend for several companies — but not all — on the list.
Our list has its flaws: Some key sources declined to cooperate with our survey, and we’ve doubtlessly missed some companies or gotten brand names ranked in the wrong order. We’re not saying this information is exactly accurate. Rather, these are experts best guesses as to who spends what on Facebook.
Nonetheless, we’re confident that our ranking is the best available outside of Facebook vp/global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson’s office. (You can email us if you have better information that could make this list more accurate.) Budgets, where given, are estimates.
1. Samsung: $100 million
There was widespread agreement that Samsung (SSNLF) is one of Facebook’s biggest clients, if not the biggest client. Late last year, Samsung spent $10 million in a three-week period on Facebook just to launch its Galaxy S III phone, for instance.
2. P&G: $60 million
Procter & Gamble (PG) is the world’s largest advertiser and has a massive presence on Facebook, particularly among moms. Facebook ended a “free ride” for advertisers in late 2012/early 2013 by restricting the reach of some of their free page posts, thus encouraging more paid post promotion and ad spending right at the same time that P&G made a big push out of traditional media and into social.
P&G will likely activate another huge social media campaign around Facebook for the Russian Olympics next year.
3. Microsoft: $35 million
Microsoft (MSFT) has a longstanding pact with Facebook, which uses its Bing search engine. Facebook also acquired Microsoft’s Atlas ad server this year.
Facebook is the biggest mobile app on the planet, and AT&T (T) — as both a wireless carrier and a seller of mobile devices — knows it must maintain a constant presence on it.
5. Amazon: $30 million
6. Verizon: $30 million
Facebook has courted wireless carrier advertisers like Verizon (VZ) specifically with a new tool that shows Facebook mobile ads are nine times more successful than desktop media in getting people to switch carriers than other media.