A report from Chief Marketer suggests marketers' goals of increasing touch points with users and generating more leads has resulted in greater social media marketing investment.

A report from Chief Marketer illustrates the myriad motivations for companies to use social media marketing. The list includes engaging in relevant conversations with prospects and expanding prospect pools. However, offering multiple channels for user engagement and conversion funnel entry is the most frequently cited reason. Eighty-four percent of respondents said they use social primarily to build more touch points with prospects.

Sixty-two percent said reaching customers where they spend time is a key consideration, and 56 percent reported their prospects “expect” their brands to be on social networks.

Marketers use social media for a number of reasons, and their goals for the channel are similarly expansive. Fifty-six percent said boosting site traffic is critical, while 43 percent seek greater lead generation. Other popular responses included fan engagement (37 percent), promotion of content marketing material (32 percent) and monitoring relevant social conversions (32 percent).

In terms of the channels marketers choose, 94 percent of B2C companies use Facebook, along with 77 percent of B2B businesses. Seventy-six percent of consumer-facing respondents maintain branded Twitter accounts, while 77 percent of B2B organizations rely on the microblogging site. Eighty-five percent of B2B companies use LinkedIn, compared to just 39 percent of B2C businesses.

Pinterest and Google+ are also relatively popular among both audiences.

Social’s continued growth, both in terms of adoption and networks, forces companies to decide where to dedicate their resources carefully. Different networks offer benefits that help achieve the goals businesses outline. For example, Brafton recently highlighted data from BizRate that found Facebook can offer more interactions with fans, while brand content on Pinterest has more direct influence over purchases.

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.