Red Rocket Media found that 41 percent of companies expect social media marketing to become a larger part of their budgets in 2012.

A report from Red Rocket Media said that 41 percent of businesses plan to increase their investment in social media marketing for 2012.

While 49 percent said they will not spend more on social channels next year, the substantial increase demonstrates the value companies have seen in the marketing platform.

Social media marketing can be time consuming for some, but its status as a competitive necessity is driving businesses to fine tune their campaigns.

Developing the kind of content likely to boost engagement is a challenge businesses are seeing. Though, as their plans evolve, it’s likely that some of the other concerns will dissipate. Thirty-two percent of businesses said they don’t have the time to effectively generate social content, while 28 percent named creating original content as their most pressing issue and 13 percent pointed to driving engagement.

Once companies identify the type of content that best suits their goals, it’s likely that the process will become less time consuming, easier and more effective. With the expanded social investment, businesses will likely find their stride.

However, Brafton recently reported that 27 percent of companies have opted to use third-party agencies to manage their social media marketing campaigns. As the channel becomes more popular and effective, using a third party can help companies avoid some of the issues that plague initiatives in their earliest stages. 

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.