Communicating effectively plays a large part in any customer outreach initiative. In fact, it is imperative for any organization to understand the most useful ways to connect with its customers. With 65 percent of adult American internet users participating in social networking platforms, social media has become one of the primary ways for businesses to connect with customers and potential customers.

But what are some of the top benefits of social media engagement ? Businesses can improve communications, recruiting, customer relationships and other processes by expanding social engagement beyond, according to new research from CompTIA, a non-profit organization for information technology (IT).

CompTIA's online survey of 400 IT and business professionals conducted in January 2012 lists the top five business benefits of employing social media tools. Here's what those professionals said rank as the top five.
  • Better communications with customers (61 percent)
  • Cost savings (51 percent)
  • Brand positioning (49 percent)
  • Real-time customer satisfaction (48 percent)
  • Potential lead generation (43 percent)
Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis at CompTIA noted that the majority of organizations are not yet savvy with social tools. Instead of understanding how social media tools work, companies are stuck in a trial-and-error mode.

CompTIA's survey found that the large majority of firms now using social tools are taking their first steps with social media. Eighty-two percent of respondents have a Facebook presence, while 68 percent have a Twitter profile.

And for those MSPs who are already masters of the social media realm, an opportunity may exist to build a practice around helping your customers reap the rewards as well.