A new report from Crimson Hexagon and the New York University Stern School of Business' Center for Measurable Marketing found that social media marketing can help increase in-store traffic.

Crimson Hexagon and the New York University Stern School of Business’ Center for Measurable Marketing recently found that social media marketing is more effective at driving in-store traffic than a number of other methods.

For retailers and other business that rely heavily on brick-and-mortar sales, the overwhelming sentiment is that the channel is only good for offering discounts and coupons. However, using social media allows brands to engage their prospects, greatly improving accessibility.

Sharing content on social media websites allows prospects to inform friends and others of positive experiences, which makes it an ideal channel for marketers to garner word-of-web referrals. Additionally, the occasional negative comment can be addressed directly to fix the complaint and encourage users to give the brand another chance.

Beyond the engagement factor, using social platforms to distribute content can improve SEO campaigns. All quality inbound links factor into rankings, so sharing links to informational content and encouraging further social sharing of articles can help boost a site’s search visibility.

The growth of social media as part of content marketing campaigns has led businesses to adjust resource allocations. Brafton reported on Wednesday that more than 70 percent of companies plan to hire content writers and creative professionals to optimize their social media content.

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.