A study shows that the majority of CMOs believe social media does or will produce ROI for their businesses.

MarketingSherpa's Social Marketing Benchmark Report indicates that the majority of marketers are increasing their social budgets this year, and priorities are shifting toward ROI. Luckily for social marketers, the study also suggests that social media campaigns produce return on investment.

Two-thirds of marketers (66 percent) are increasing their social media budgets this year, with 16 percent boosting social spend by more than 50 percent. At the same time, less than 3 percent of marketers are decreasing their social marketing budgets.

As social spend increases, so is marketers' focus on measurable ROI. Sixty-five percent of respondents say they are strategically aiming to convert their social media fans into paying customers, 63 percent want to increase measurable returns on investment this year and 44 percent aim to achieve lead generation from social marketing.

Marketers using Facebook might find that the company's recently released marketing guidelines can help them achieve leads and sales on the social giant. As Brafton reported, the Facebook guidelines include step-by-step tips for improved Facebook engagement and conversions.

Still, some might not think they need Facebook's tips – MarketingSherpa reports that one in five marketers believe that their social campaigns already producing substantial ROI. Another 62 percent believe that social media holds strong potential to produce measurable returns, and they will continue to invest in the channel. MarketingSherpa reports that some respondents are averaging 95 percent ROI.

Social marketers might find that improved SEO is another benefit of social campaigns. Google's Matt Cutts says social media marketing should be a top SEO priority this year.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.