Companies looking to improve their websites should look at utilizing social applications in their designs. New research finds that social apps can have a number of benefits for companies.

A new eMarketer report found that nearly 75 percent of business executives said they have incorporated social applications into their business websites. Those applications — which include widgets, chat tools and comment tools — have a number of benefits, those executives said.  

Most importantly, the applications helped with user engagement. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said that users were more engaged with the company's brand as a result of social applications. Additionally, 54 percent of business executives said that social apps help to establish a connection with a company's audience.

[6 Innovative Social Media Tools for Small Business]

Executives also said that social apps help to increase the average time a user spends on a website and the traffic of a site. The researchers also found that social apps helped to humanize a company's brand and increase conversions and revenues.

Overall, the most popular social networks were Facebook and Twitter, with more than 90 percent of executives saying their businesses use those platforms. LinkedIn and YouTube were also popular, used by nearly 60 percent of businesses. More than 50 percent of companies used Google+.

On average, brands use between five and nine different social media platforms, the research found.

"With social media offering communication channels with low entry costs, it makes sense that brands are branching out across several of these platforms," the eMarketer report said. "The trick for marketers is to make sure they've invested in the resources needed to both maintain a social media presence and keep them [the social media channels] engaging with followers on a regular basis."

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.