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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 24, 2010

Social media increases in importance for SMBs

Small businesses are embracing social media, but don't see it as a replacement for traditional marketing activity. Instead, found a recent Constant Contact survey, they are using it to complement existing channels.

by Helen Leggatt

constant contact logo.gifSmall businesses plan to commit more marketing dollars to social media next year, and more now consider the likes of Facebook and Twitter to be important marketing tools. However, most intend to pair-up social media with existing marketing activity to boost reach.

Many of the 1,453 respondents (63%) cited Facebook and 30.7% cited Twitter as important elements of their marketing activity in this recent Fall 2010 survey, up from 50.5% and 25.6%, respectively, from a March 2010 survey.

In fact, the findings (.pdf) suggest that small businesses now view Facebook as equally important as face-to-face interactions (62%).

Also interesting to note is the decline in importance small businesses are placing on marketing activities that aren't easily shared with others - telephone marketing, direct mail and face-to-face interactions.

Instead, those channels via which their customers can share or interact with content are increasing in importance - email, websites, event marketing and online surveys.

"We applaud our small business customers who have found a way to work creatively and use the resources they have to grow their business, despite tough economic times," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact.

"They can leverage the power of social word of mouth to reach a very qualified audience," she added. "It's not just reach, it's reach with implied endorsements and that is the goal of small businesses."

Tags: marketing, small business, social media

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