Social media marketing has helped companies boost brand awareness, engagement and recruiting.

Businesses that claim success with social media marketing have found that brand awareness, prospect and client engagement and recruiting are the areas most positively impacted by the channel, SelectMinds found in a recent study.

The analysis found that 60 percent of businesses believe social media content works best when used for communications, whether with customers, prospects or potential employees. Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms allow companies to interact in a more informal manner that makes brands more accessible.

Moving forward, 69 percent of companies expect to direct greater portions of their marketing budgets to social media.

“Corporations are beyond the leap-of-faith stage with their social media programs: They have them up and running and they know they are producing results. They just can’t agree on how best to quantify them,” Anne Berkowitch, CEO of SelectMinds, said in a release. “The key now is to build the infrastructure necessary for firms to systematize their social media programs to produce real, measurable ROI. We look forward to being a big part of that evolution.”

Despite growing investment, marketers are struggling to gauge the true value of social media marketing campaigns. While some judge ROI based on revenue generated from the campaigns, 65 percent believe increased website traffic is an equally valuable metric. Additionally, 63 percent told SelectMinds that growth in Facebook fans is an equally important figure.

While businesses and marketing agencies try their hand at developing reliable metrics for social media ROI, Brafton reported that Facebook has developed Insights to improve data available for brand pages. Marketers can now measure the number of Likes social content receives and the conversations surrounding their brands on the social giant.

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.