When it comes to making a vital social media marketing campaign, outreach is vital. It not only improves upon awareness of the brand in question, but also provides the possibility of growth for audience engagement, according to eMarketer.

A new study conducted by Ascend2 (via eMarketer) indicates that, from the nearly 300 professionals polled, nearly two thirds stated that audience engagement was the most crucial factor. There are others to consider as well, including increased brand awareness, lead generation and website traffic, but without consumers on board, it’s all for naught.

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The chart indicates this level of importance, with increased audience engagement getting 64%, followed by increased brand awareness (54%), lead generation (41%) and website traffic (35%). Audience size and search rankings took up the lower part of the rankings.

Tactical effectiveness plays a part in all this, with 82% of these professionals stating that creating compelling content is the best way to go about this.

This isn’t just for social media, but also with video, which is becoming more and more accepted in channels like Twitter and Facebook.

That said, the road to getting overall social media success isn’t quite as easy as it looks. Half of those surveyed stated that the inability to measure ROI was a big obstacle when it came to getting results, while others noted that the lack of in-house skills and resources, a shortage of actionable insights and the absence of aforementioned tactical effectiveness also serve as hills to get over.

But not everything is on the negative side. Another chart shows that U.S. companies utilizing social networks for marketing purposes will continue to grow slowly but surely over the next few years. In 2013, it showed that 86.2% of companies were taking part. This year, it rose to 88.2%. It’ll reach almost 90 percent by 2017, coming in just under with 89.4%.

The full report can be found here. It’ll definitely be news to those trying to find a way to grasp what’s most effective with using social media for promotion.

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