Small businesses are looking to web marketing as a key driver of success moving forward.

A report from Conversocial found that 35.2 percent of consumers consider social media engagement from companies they follow to be “very important.”

Small businesses using social media marketing can leverage this desire for interaction by being aggressive with complaints, questions and other feedback from customers on social media platforms. With more than 49 percent of shoppers saying they would be less likely to return to a business if their concerns are responded to on social, responding to Facebook fans or Twitter followers might make a difference in sales.

Consumers simply want their voices to be heard, and social has made it easier than ever for small businesses to respond to their prospects and customers. More than 31 percent of respondents said speaking to someone from a business is an important motivation for them to interact with companies on social networks.

It can be difficult for small businesses to address every question or concern raised on social networks. However, defining a strategy for handling social media marketing communications and using it to guide responses to questions and feedback from consumers will help prevent issues. For those without plans, it may be time to create one or find experts that can help define a social strategy and goals.

Small businesses already appear to be planning these adjustments in 2012. ContentLEAD reported last month that many SMBs that did not meet their goals for 2011 plan to increase their use of social as part of improving sales. Moreover, 60 percent said that investing in new marketing manpower (through more staff or agencies) is in the works for 2012.