SMBs should invest in the channels that will produce the most ROI.

A study conducted by Forrester, in conjunction with Facebook, found that 72 percent of respondents believe social media marketing is among the most important elements of their customer loyalty and retention efforts.

Moreover, 76 percent said the channel plays a vital role in the expansion of their companies’ visibility on the web. Essentially, they view Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media marketing as a strong method of attracting new prospects, while nurturing relationships with existing clients and customers.

Many of these SMBs have not found the perfect mix of social for their companies, however. Just 33 percent said they have a long-term strategy for their channel, but the success they’re seeing has led them to consider social as a competitive necessity for their business moving forward. Seventy-one percent said social has given their organization an advantage over others.

One area SMBs need to improve in with social is listening, according to Forrester. Using messages, replies and other feedback to improve products and services can be invaluable for small businesses looking to grow their user base consistently.

ContentLEAD recently reported that half of small businesses, despite aggressive social campaigns, lack direction and focus for their social media marketing campaigns. Many have found that the channel is not in line with the rest of their marketing efforts as a result.