American consumers continue to be engrossed in digital media – especially on social networks – yet advertisers are not matching ad dollars to digital time spent, shows the latest analysis.

The data, which was crunched by eMarketer, shows that Facebook is enjoying a solid share of time spent. At 21 minutes per day, the average American user spends 33.3% of their social networking time on Facebook. And with only 52% of Facebook users logging in more than once a month, this number is actually quite significant when considering those users interacting on a more regular basis.

Average time spent with Facebook

For the average Facebook user – not the average American – the amount spent on the network is even higher, coming in at 39 minutes per day and 38.1% of time spent on social networks. Amazingly, while the net gain has slowed, this number has shown a continue increase over the years. Facebook’s dominance has now firmly transitioned also to the new mobile normal.

Average use by Facebook users

Facebook only accounts for 6% of digital time spent for the average user, however, which shows that there is still an enormous share of other outlets being consumed on average each day. These outlets represent arbitrage opportunities for marketers to leverage under-advertised platforms that still have steady and significant engagement numbers.

For example, digital is still seeing an underspend when compared to where media is being consumed:

Time spent share versus ad spending share

eMarketer drills into these areas to further highlight opportunities in the time spent versus advertising spend split.

Social networks, digital video, digital radio and Pandora specifically are all under-advertised when compared to how much time is spent on these platforms. Facebook, pulled out from other social networks, sits in an enviable position, as it captures a disproportionate amount of ad dollars when compared to time spent.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.11.07 AM

Of course, the Facebook experience has many unique qualities that make it a solid place to advertise, especially when looking to build awareness, community and access wider networks.

Nonetheless, this latest data is a reminder to travel marketers to consider walking where the advertising crowd is thinner. Greater impact can be found within the right context, and as the skyrocketing cost of Facebook advertising attests, increased competition for ad space simply costs more money.

By finding the right customer on an alternative platform, brands can reap savings for similar – or greater – results.

NB: Facebook image courtesy Shutterstock.

Original author: Nick Vivion