Stuff of dreams.jpgCheap, easy and available to anyone has never been more attractive. In fact, in this age of social media, it's apparently the stuff of dreams of digital marketers.

As the just-released Social Intelligence Report by Adobe Digital Index (ADI) for Q4 2013 clearly explains, marketers who fail to advertise on social networks are missing a large audience for a relatively low cost. Marketers can get a lot of high-quality traffic and click-through rates (CTRs) from social ads, and can drive even more value when they analyze and optimize each campaign.

The report, which analyzes paid, earned and owned social media trends, is based on a study of 240 billion Facebook ad impressions, 1.5 billion Facebook posts, a half a billion referred visits and 6.3 billion social engagements on Facebook.

Just Give Me the Important Stuff

The key takeaway is that there is still a lot of untapped potential in social paid advertising. Most marketers are only beginning to experiment with it and optimize it, the report claims. But those efforts are expected to intensify this year, and "by 2015, we expect to see a good balance between content and advertising and targeting and privacy that marketers and users alike can all live with." Other key findings: