Using social marketing to listen to prospects can help small businesses improve content marketing and service.

A report from AT&T found that 60 percent of small business owners using social media marketing plan to invest heavily in the channel moving forward, with many looking to increase their spending and activity in the coming months.

According to the survey, 39 percent of SMBs said they are using social media marketing. Those active in social said they have found using it helps improve sales and increases the presence of their businesses online.

Relying on social media marketing to direct prospects back to a website is critical for the success of an SMB, especially as the internet becomes a primary research tool for both consumers and B2B buyers. Twenty-five percent of business owners said they believe social media marketing is important for lead generation and conversions on the web.

“In today’s market, small business owners need to maintain a competitive edge, and with a variety of low-cost resources available, small businesses can easily deploy complex marketing campaigns that span all media and audiences,” Ebrahim Keshavarz, AT&T vice president of small business product management, said in a release.

ContentLEAD recently reported that consumers and B2B buyers have come to expect that SMBs maintain active social pages. Moreover, they prefer working with those that do, as more than 50 percent said their impression ofa company improves when they can interact with it on social.