Consumers are more willing to engage with social media content shared among their personal networks.

Marketers note that social media is their preferred channel for distributing content to prospects and current customers. In the Content Marketing Institutes’ latest B2C report, 84 percent of respondents indicated they would use social media marketing next year to engage with consumers, facilitating social content delivery and bolstering lead gen efforts.

In order to improve audience targeting through social media networks, marketers must learn more about how people interact on these channels, and a recent NM Incite report highlights common social characteristics shown by internet users today. Desktop computers remain the method of choice for accessing social accounts, but their share has dropped 4 percent year-over-year. This fluctuation is a direct result of mobile technology increasing its reach.

NM Incite DesktopWith a relatively stable consumer base accessing social content every day, marketers can position branded content on these platforms and know that people will inevitably interact with published media. In fact, the NM Incite report shows that 17 percent of social users feel more connected to brands seen through social networks and that ads actually encourage interactions.

According to NM Incite’s’ data, 26 percent of social users surveyed have “Liked” a social ad and 15 percent have shared the promotion with their own followers. This type of engagement increases campaign reach and drives ROI, which should encourage more marketers to develop social strategies, especially as the use of mobile technology continues to grow.

When evaluating the actions people made after viewing social ads, the results varied, but approximately 14 percent of people purchased products because of these promotional pieces. Of the audience segment who bought goods based on viewed ads, 10 percent purchased the advertised item over the internet.

Social ads don’t always command users’ attention and lead to higher engagement rates – the posts must compel viewers to respond. More, 33 percent of surveyed respondents in NM Incite’s report agree that social network ads are more annoying than other internet promotions. However, 26 percent are more likely to pay attention to media posted by their social acquaintances. For marketers, this means that driving users to engage with promotional content and share media with their own networks is essential for successful outreach campaigns. Creative custom content may be the solution.

Social marketers who publish complementary articles and news pieces to their feeds – all of which must be relevant to advertised products – create online communities that encourage social sharing and online discussions. Marketers who want to increase social ad sharing must do their part and make content and the end result worthwhile, or else online campaigns are just noise.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.