In the past, Facebook users might have been too young to be in SMBs' target audiences, but the social marketing landscape is maturing.

Small businesses looking to improve sales on the web can use social content to appeal to prospects and re-engage existing customers. According to research from comScore in conjunction with Facebook and retailer Target, consumers exposed to social content converted more frequently than most.

As part of its research, comScore found that 4 percent of Facebook fans made purchases within four weeks of seeing a Target blog post, image or article shared on the social network. This represents modest growth when compared with the 3.3 percent of Facebook fans who converted without seeing content.

Friends of fans are similarly more likely to convert after being exposed to a business’ content on the social network. According to comScore, 3.8 percent of friends of fans who saw content, whether through paid ads or organic shares, made purchases in the subsequent month, while just 3 percent of friends of fans did covert when not exposed to the Target Facebook content.

For SMBs, social media marketing campaigns serve any number of purposes. However, using content on social networks to drive engagement is among the best ways to ensure social leads to sales.

ContentLEAD recently reported that SMBs using paid spots to promote their social marketing content may soon have more options, with Facebook close to rolling out a mobile ad program that serves content based on a user’s location.