Which of the top social media networks actually delivers the highest ROI to marketers?
That’s one of the key questions answered in the Future of Social Media Marketing Report, a study released by Social Fresh, a social media education company, and its partners Firebrand Group and Simply Measured. Derived from a survey of 551 social media marketing professionals, the report reveals where marketers are seeing the biggest bang for their buck—and where they intend to invest more in the future.
By a long shot, Facebook was identified by marketers as the top social media marketing network. An overwhelming majority (95.8%) of the people that Social Fresh talked to said that Facebook is 1 of 3 best performing social networks for them. Twitter was a distant second, while Instagram was third.
Despite all the buzz about Snapchat, it looks like marketers are still not finding success in this emerging platform. Only 2.1% of marketers identified Snapchat as a top performing network.
Facebook is also the number 1 social network where marketers currently advertise, with more than 6 in 10 saying they run paid promotions in this network at least once a month.
When it comes to future plans for advertising campaigns, Facebook also came up on top.
So why are marketers loving Facebook?
As Convince and Convert‘s Jay Baer points out, the obvious answer is that Facebook “offers the largest potential audience, and a truly remarkable set of targeting options.” And because many brands invested heavily in building their Facebook community, they want to stay on the site and are continuing to invest here as a result.
I think there’s more to it though. Simply put, Facebook’s advertising platform is on a league of its own in the social media advertising world. The breath of targeting and creative options on Facebook is unmatched by Twitter and LinkedIn. But more importantly, if you follow conversion numbers, you’ll see that Facebook advertising tends to have a lower cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per click (CPC) compared to other networks. And because Facebook makes it easy to retarget people either by using a pixel or uploading a customer audience list, advertising here tends to be more effective.
“Simply put, Facebook’s advertising platform is on a league of its own in the social media advertising world.”
Not only that: the pace of innovation in Facebook’s advertising platform is quite crazy (in a good way). From carousel ads to lead ads to dynamic product ads, Facebook consistently offers new ways that companies can run brand awareness and direct response campaigns.
To be fair, other networks are trying to catch up. Just this week, LinkedIn announced a slew of upgrades to its advertising platform, including the ability to target by the number of years of experience and a way to save target templates (this will be a HUGE time saver!).
Facebook is way ahead though, and I think that it will remain on top for the foreseeable future.
More data about the future of social media
In addition to revealing what network results to the highest ROI, Social Fresh’s report also offers some interesting insight into the future of social advertising.
For one, marketers are most bullish about Instagram. According to the survey, 42% of marketers plan to invest more in the Facebook-owned network—beating both Twitter and LinkedIn. I don’t think this is surprising given that marketers are loving Facebook. While Instagram is the new kid on the block, it’s also Facebook-owned, so any new features or products in the parent company are usually available here as well.
Other interesting stats from the report:
- While 90% of marketers are already doing social media advertising, many of them outsource this task. Almost one-third (33.1%) said they outsource social media advertising to consultants and agencies—far more than any other social media-related tasks.
- Social media monitoring (28%) and analytics (24%) lead the survey when it comes to the type of social media software the companies are currently looking for.
- Content creation remains a big part of social media marketing, taking around 18.5% of the day of professionals in this space. Among content types, images (79%), blog posts (58%) and video (46%) led the survey.
Check out the full report on the Social Fresh website.
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