Although many businesses are still integrating traditional marketing efforts with social media, it appears that the latter is the better choice when it comes to mobile apps — and Facebook Ads might have something to do with that.

A recent study found that social channels like Facebook and Twitter are more effective than any other method of mobile app marketing. In AppsFlyer’s Mobile Advertising Measurement Q1-2013 report, analysts found that using social channels improved three metrics for app marketing campaigns: user quality, conversion rates, and volume.

In previous quarters, social delivered high-quality users, but the volume and reach were limited. Last year’s launch of Facebook Mobile App Install Ads “definitely” helped social excel in all three areas this year. This particular type of ad unit enables iOS and Android developers to purchase prominent exposure for their apps inside the social network’s mobile News Feed.

Named “one of the most important new ad products” by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Mobile App Install Ads drove a total of 25 million app downloads in the App Store and Google Play since last October. Additionally, 40 percent of the 100 top-grossing apps for Android and iPhone have advertised on Facebook.

According to the study, social media marketing campaigns were especially effective for games, travel, social apps, and geo-targeted apps, while search delivered the highest quality users for e-commerce, utilities, and food apps. That doesn’t mean food apps won’t benefit from Facebook Ads, or that social apps won’t perform well in search.

It all comes down to how you define success. If your goal is to increase conversion rates, consider adding more social campaigns to your strategy. Alternately, if you’re going after user quality, search might be better suited for your app — the idea here is that you’re reaching people who are actively looking for what you’re providing.

Keep in mind that what works for one app won’t necessarily work for another. For this reason, it’s important to discuss and test different strategies with your marketing team. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the right fit for your product.

[Via: SocialTimes, Image credit: Claudia Regina]