As we launch into 2013, social media marketing has established itself as a practice that creates meaningful engagement with prospective and current customers. The trends that brought social marketing success in 2012 should not be forgotten this year – and marketers should make it their resolution to consistently engage with followers.

According to Webmarketing123’s “State of Digital Media 2012” report, 41 percent of B2B brands and 52 percent of B2C companies will increase marketing spend on social media in 2013. Facebook took top honors in 2012 – B2Bs and B2Cs allocated 40 percent and 65 percent of their social media budgets, respectively, toward Facebook last year. With businesses indicating they’ll increase spending on social outreach in the new year, marketing dollars dedicated to Facebook may also rise.

But simply spending money to optimize a Facebook Page doesn’t bring traffic. Marketers must be engaged on the network in order to see meaningful results. Unfortunately, only 8 percent of B2B businesses and 10 percent of B2C companies are fully engaged on social sites – far too few considering the share of overall marketing budgets going toward the channel.

Taking the time to set a strategy and calendar for content distribution and engagement can pay off. Facebook is shown to not only generate leads, but also sales. The report noted that nearly one in five B2B companies see sales from Facebook. It’s an even bigger bottom-line booster for B2C brands, with 39 percent improving online transactions via the network.

Social media can become a powerful resource for brands, as evidenced in the Webmarketing123 study, but professionals can see even greater benefits when they actively engage on sites like Facebook. If Facebook already generates a significant percentage of new leads and sales for both B2Bs and B2Cs with very few brands admitting to being fully engaged on social, imagine the ROI for companies that dedicate appropriate time and resource to the practice.  

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.