Nine out of ten marketers are now using a mix of organic and paid tactics for their social media marketing endeavours, according to a recent study by Clutch. Facebook is the most popular for paid ads: two-thirds of respondents revealed that it is their number-one choice, which is almost double the number that prefers YouTube.
Striking the right balance between organic and paid content is a critical factor for 80 per cent of enterprises, and many are now recognising how to use content to target a particular audience on different platforms. For example, Facebook is a prime location for sharing special offers and deals but isn’t as ideal for promoting white papers and research.
“People spend time on Facebook looking at pictures of their grandkids and interacting with friends and family,” the CEO of Community Elf, Scott Rogerson, said. “They don’t want to see work brought into this social network, as other networks, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, may be perfect for thought leadership around their professional lives.”
When asked about their preferred channels for paid social media, 66 per cent of the 304 social media marketers surveyed in the Clutch study said that Facebook is best, which placed it way ahead of YouTube (34 per cent), Twitter (33 per cent), LinkedIn (30 per cent), Instagram (24 per cent) and Google+ (22 per cent). The likes of Snapchat and Vine were even further down the list at five per cent.
While the majority of marketers said that paid social media is more important for driving traffic, awareness and reach, they recognised that their paid efforts would not be as effective if they weren’t supplemented by high-quality organic social content.
“If a company runs a paid social media campaign, the first thing that may happen is someone will click on the company’s profile,” Rogerson added. “If the company doesn’t have organic content on its Facebook page, then the customer can’t learn anything about the company’s character. They most likely won’t click through to the company’s website or download its content.”
Finally, when asked about the most important metric to track and analyse for paid strategies, respondents placed audience growth on top at 27 per cent, ahead of clicks to website (19 per cent) and engagement (17 per cent). However, the report noted that both audience growth and engagement are not actionable metrics and that marketers should focus on results that justify ad spend, such as conversions and click-through rates.