A report from Catalogues4Business found that companies using social media marketing must develop strategies more effectively before launching campaigns.

A report from Catalogues4Business found that 53 percent of companies are actively using social media marketing, but many of them lack any clearly defined strategies. According to C4B, this often leads to failure to align marketing channels, which negatively impacts branding (and sales) efforts.

The report found that the number of businesses investing in their social presence is consistently rising. Among U.K. companies, half of those with social marketing campaigns in place lack an developed strategy for execution and integration.

The major problem businesses are finding is that their efforts with content marketing or email campaigns are not aligning well with their social media marketing.

“(Social media) can be a very powerful too, but, as with most marketing activities, there must be a strategy in place, and some joined group thinking,” said Ian Simpson, managing director at Catalogues4Business.

Social campaigns can benefit brands as more consumers are turning to social platforms to conduct research. However, they’re also using search engines more frequently to find product information. In fact, Brafton has reported that 89 percent of shoppers turn to search results before making purchase decisions. If search, social and other channels aren’t working together to direct consumers through the conversion funnel businesses risk sending disconnected brand messages.

One way to connect SEO website content with social outreach is sharing headlines. Among the benefits of social media marketing is the ability to distribute articles, blog posts and other material created as part of a content marketing campaign. Brafton recently reported that 96 percent of companies creating custom news content for their websites are using social platforms to share it.

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.