A report from Social Media Examiner found that 80 percent of companies have benefited from greater brand exposure using social media marketing.

Companies using social media marketing have found countless benefits from improving their presence with the channel. According to Social Media Examiner, more than 80 percent named increased exposure and greater overall visibility on the web as improvements they have seen from social marketing, but a number also reported benefits that directly boost their bottom lines.

Among the other most frequently cited benefits were increased website traffic (69 percent), insight into target markets (65 percent) and better lead generation (58 percent). Additionally, many marketers say social is a cost-effective solution and it help build business partnership.

Businesses find it also enhances other marketing campaigns. Fifty-five percent said social media marketing positively improved their SEO strategy. As more prospects follow and click links to original website content shared on the social networks, site traffic increased along with inbound links on the web. This helps overall rankings as search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant search results.

Increased web presences and greater lead generation are the social marketing outcomes companies most want to see. Much of this comes from greater communication with prospects, which Brafton recently reported is a desired goal for more than 60 percent of social media marketing campaigns.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.