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Seven in 10 social marketers say that increasing brand awareness is one of their top goals. To help achieve this, more than half (54%) of marketers are prioritizing potential audience reach when considering which social platforms to invest in, per a new report [download page] from Sprout Social, which examined survey responses from more than 1,000 social media marketers as well as more than 1,000 consumers.

Data from late last year forecasted that social media advertising on a global basis will grow by $28 billion between 2017 and 2020, accounting for about 64% of the growth of internet display advertising as a whole. While this projection indicates that marketers are planning to continue their investment in social media, that doesn’t mean they aren’t considering the costs. In fact, almost half (47%) of the marketers surveyed said they prioritize the cost of paid ads when investing in a social platform.

In an effort to meet their goals of lead generation (59%) and increased web traffic (45%), more than one-third of marketers also prioritize what potential the various social platforms have for lead generation and for driving traffic.

One in 3 respondents also said they take into consideration social algorithm updates when choosing social platforms. Other research has highlighted that these updates can pose a real problem, with algorithm changes on social being named a top challenge by the majority of B2C content marketers. Additionally, Parse.ly published figures showing that changes to Facebook’s algorithm making brand and publisher-owned pages less visible has resulted in a decline in referral traffic across all popular content categories.

Meanwhile, the Sprout Social report notes that one of social media marketers’ greatest challenges is developing social strategies to support business goals. Time seems to be the biggest barrier for about 3 in 5 (59%) social marketers from doing strategic work. Having other business priorities (45%) is another factor interfering with marketers being able to develop social strategies.

Want to read more? Download the report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on surveys of 1,011 consumers and 1,018 marketers. Both the consumer and marketer surveys were conducted online between February 20 and 25, 2019.

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