People are using social media more often, which means marketers must step up their games to achieve their content marketing goals.

Social media strategies have become an industry standard for marketers. Forward-thinking brands recognize that although accounts are free, popular pages demand professional attention to deliver the quality and quantity of content that keeps target audiences engaged.

A recent study from Edison Research and Arbitron, “The Infinite Dial 2013,” reported that social media is still expanding its reach in multiple directions. As of 2013, approximately 62 percent of Americans have profiles on social networking sites, with Facebook maintaining its position as the market leader. Fifty-eight percent of surveyed American consumers have personal accounts on the social networking giant.

However, consumers aren’t just signing up for social accounts more often – they are also participating on them habitually. The study revealed that 27 percent of social network users, or about 71 million individuals, are logging onto the sites several times a day where they can manage their accounts and check out brands’ latest social media content.

In response to individuals’ voracious appetites for social media, companies have apparently upped the ante. When people were asked about the volume of branded content they see on Facebook’s News Feed, more than 60 percent said they have noticed an increase and 41 percent noted a significant surge.

71 million individuals are logging onto the sites several times a day.

This finding is consistent with marketers’ responses to a separate survey from BrightEdge. Brafton recently reported on findings from the 2013 Search Marketer Survey, which exposed brands’ intensifying focus on social media marketing in 2013. Recognizing that professionals and consumers are becoming active social networking participants – for personal and business reasons – 45 percent of marketers said they will need to identify topics that users will discuss and share, in order to strengthen their influence online.

Brands are continuing to realize social networking success is not something they can achieve on the side of their traditional strategies. To provide users with enough posts, Tweets and contests to keep them engaged, marketers must put social media participation at the forefront of their online efforts.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.