A report from SocialStrategy1 and OfficeArrow found that 88 percent of businesses are seeing results from social media marketing.

A report from SocialStrategy1 and Office Arrow found that 88 percent of small business owners believe social media marketing has current or future impacts on their businesses. Meanwhile, the remaining 12 percent are ignoring the channel.

The reasons for using social media content identified by the poll include improved brand awareness, lead generation and customer service among other things. However, some companies said they weren’t really sure why they use it despite seeing positive benefits from the service. This speaks to the rising need to set social marketing goals; as Brafton has reported, just 23 percent of businesses are happy with their social analytics and setting social success metrics was a topic at the recent SES Chicago conference.

In terms of the platforms most popular among the responding companies, Facebook led the pack with , used by 61 percent. Forty-eight percent said they use LinkedIn, and 37 percent are active on microblogging website Twitter.

Google+ was named by 14 percent of respondents as a platform they use for social media marketing. However, the poll included future plans for a business in the channel, and it’s likely that these respondents will begin using Google+ in the near future. Only recently did Google’s social network become available to businesses, and its adoption since.

Fifteen percent of respondents aid they have outsourced their social media marketing to save time.

Third-party applications for social sharing have become increasingly popular in recent years for companies to manage, monitor and update their various social accounts from one platform. Businesses using HootSuite, Involver and four other third-party apps can now include Google+ in their sharing, Brafton reported on Wednesday.

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.