A report from A.T. Kearney found that more than 90 percent of businesses operate a social account that they do not actively use to communicate with prospects.

A report from A.T. Kearney found that more than 90 percent of businesses using social media marketing do no actively respond to communicate with their customers, despite evidence that active engagement helps businesses improve sales.

Many of the companies essentially operate one-way communication channels. Since they frequently use the prospects feedback without responding, there is still a chance they are seeing the benefits by informing their product decisions.

Social media marketing with any platform gives businesses the opportunity to communicate with prospects most effectively. Moreover, they can provide their followers or fans with information and exclusive offers that further compel conversion.

However, failing to engage social media contacts can essentially waste the ultimate value of the channel. This is especially true in cases of negative feedback, where a business can reach out to a customer and address their criticism.

Social media’s growth has made it a vitally important channel for businesses to use in hopes of attracting web leads. Brafton recently reported that 2 billion people are expected to use social media by 2014.

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.