Brands are turning to social media to reach wider audiences, but which platforms and tactics are paying off?

Clutch and Smart Insights recently surveyed 344 social media marketers from around the world to answer this question. Their results also identified marketers’ most common challenges, as well as which platforms have the most business value.

According to the data, Facebook (89 percent) is the most valuable social network for brands, followed by LinkedIn (83 percent), YouTube (81 percent) and Twitter (80 percent). In terms of content, written content (27 percent) appeared to show the most engagement. Videos (26 percent) were a close runner-up, followed by images (24 percent).

“A company’s ultimate goal is to make money, and social media helps increase revenue and sales,” writes Kristen Herhold of Clutch. “More than half (52 percent) of social media marketers said social media has helped increase their company’s revenue and sales, while 48 percent said it has had a limited impact but still needs to be managed.”

So how can brands go the extra mile to make their social initiatives pay off?

The easiest way to achieve this is to dedicate a member of the marketing team to social media efforts. A social media manager can drive engagement, produce fresh content, and continue to expand your brand’s reach over time.

Paying attention to your audience’s specific wants and needs is also critical to finding success on social media. For example, your target demographic may primarily interact on LinkedIn, meaning you should place a greater priority on this site over others, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Tracking the types of content that your audience interacts with can help as well. Whether it’s videos, white papers or e-books, knowing which types of content drive engagement can help you make a splash on social networks.

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