Social media accounts for nearly a quarter of all time spent online by consumers and generates on average around double the volume of leads of trade shows, direct marketing or PPC. But, just what channels are marketers finding the most useful to engage their target audiences?

Social channels are pivotal to most marketers’ content distribution strategies, boasting an effectiveness rating of around 50% and the opportunity to make new connections with your audiences.

As expected Twitter comes out at the top of the table, with around 82% of marketers using the platform for content distribution. The most surprising statistic perhaps is to see LinkedIn beating Facebook to second place, and coming in only marginally behind Twitter.

Since its launch in 2011 LinkedIn has grown steadily to compete with other leading social channels for both consumers’ and business’ attention.

Nowadays, LinkedIn boasts a huge business community with over 3 million official business pages showcasing 1.2 million products and services to a growing user group of around 240 million individuals.

LinkedIn answers audience trends delivering deep insights and relevance through the type and format of content available. The accentuated focus on individuals, their experience, background, interests and hobbies means that it is easier for marketers to deliver highly relevant and targeted content, that centres on commonalities.

In order to further the relevance, and therefore success, of content delivered LinkedIn highlights specific pieces of content to users in their ‘news feed’ based on their previous browsing behaviour and flagged interests. In addition, LinkedIn quantify the value of content, based on interaction and influence, allowing them to then provide even more relevant recommendations going forward.

What’s more LinkedIn Groups present the opportunity to create targeted, niche hubs of information that can be public or private, which you can invite new individuals to join, and where you can start conversations with your audiences and nurture relationships. Today, there are over 1.5 million Groups on LinkedIn.

Increasingly it looks like LinkedIn will overtake other social channels, becoming the dominant content distribution channel, as it continues to refine its proposition so that you can target the right person with the right content. However, just because it is becoming more popular doesn't mean it is necessarily the best content distribution channel for your business.

So, whatever distribution channels make up your marketing mix, my advice is to focus on relevancy - listen and learn from your consumers and give them what they want in terms of content.