There's a big reason small business owners should work on their social media efforts. New research has found that nearly three-quarters of the followers of small- and medium-size businesses say they are more likely to purchase something from a company they follow on Twitter.

That was not the only reason people had for following companies on social media, though. More than 60 percent of followers say they follow small businesses to show their support for the business and to interact with a small business.  The research was a part of a new report from eMarketer.

"Twitter users seem to be fairly invested in the SMBs they follow on the network, so it’s up to these businesses to effectively leverage this enthusiasm, encouraging fans to keep purchasing and spreading the word to others," the eMarketer report said.

[6 Innovative Social Media Tools for Small Business]

One of the best ways for small businesses to encourage fans and followers is to build a community with their followers. Small business owners can take a number of steps to build that community with their followers. First and foremost, companies need to provide customers and followers with interesting and relevant content. Respondents say they were most likely to retweet content from small businesses if they liked the information.

Additionally, small businesses can set themselves up for social success by providing a positive experience to their customers. Sixty-four percent of Twitter users in the United States and United Kingdom say they have mentioned positive experiences they had on social media, while 54 percent of Twitter users say they have replied to a tweet to share a positive experience they had at a store.

Small business owners must also do a better job of updating content on social media. Research found that just 13 percent of small businesses in the United States posted to social media daily while 18 percent say they posted weekly.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.