A report from CompTIA suggested that 61 percent of businesses that use social media marketing do so to improve communication with prospects.

A report from CompTIA found that social media marketing has myriad uses for businesses, but improving accessibility to prospects and clients is the most frequently cited goal of social campaigns.

Sixty-one percent of companies said a presence on social platforms helps them reach out and respond to their prospects. Using social as a two-sided communication channel is an effective method of answering questions and handling feedback, whether positive or negative.

Businesses have also found that social media marketing is a cost-effective method for improving web visibility for their companies. Fifty-one percent said they use social to market their products and services effectively at a lower cost than some of their other campaigns.

Other popular goals for social media marketing include greater brand positioning, quick customer satisfaction and lead generation.

“Companies find that the conversational nature of social media allows them to carry on discussions with their customers, strengthening the relationship and gleaning insights on products, services and satisfaction,” Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis for CompTIA, said in a release. “It makes good business sense to apply their success using social tools to internal activities and processes.”

Despite increased use of social marketing, many companies relying on the channel have not defined their goals or the best ways to reach those target audiences via social. Brafton recently reported businesses failing to strategize properly can see their social campaigns suffer as competitors launch highly focused initiatives.

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.