With Facebook and Twitter usage steadily expanding in recent years, leveraging these platforms for social media marketing purposes has become mainstream.

Data compiled by Search Engine Journal found that social media use among all age groups has grown consistently since 2005. The expansion of Facebook, Twitter and other platforms has made social media marketing a strategy for targeting all audiences, rather than just young, tech-savvy users.

Enterprise use of social media has expanded both in terms of scope and value. According to the study, 39 percent of companies currently use social media for marketing and this number is expected to move to at least 43 percent in 2012. In terms of general use of social media, 71 percent of companies use Facebook, 59 percent rely on Twitter and 33 percent post videos on YouTube.

For those organizations not using these platforms for marketing, implementing a strategy is quickly becoming a competitive necessity. Brafton reported marketing budgets are expected to expand consistently through 2015, and social media marketing will play a role in this growth.

Furthermore, SEO plays into increasingly plays into an effective social media strategy as well. Earlier this year, Google rolled out its Panda algorithm, which greatly altered search results and rankings. In light of this and other search changes, Google’s Matt Cutts has advised marketers to make social media content distribution part of their SEO strategies.

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.