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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 02, 2010

Survey: SMBs embrace social but neglect websites

Free or low-cost social media tools are central to the marketing activity of small companies with limited budgets, according to new research from Zoomerang, but SMBs still have some catching up to do when it comes to developing websites.

by Helen Leggatt

Among the more than 750 businesses surveyed by Zoomerang (.pdf), over a third said they currently use social media as part of their marketing strategy. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were the most common channels, used by 80%, 37 % and 27%, respectively.

These cost-effective social media channels were particularly popular among businesses with marketing budgets of less that $1,000.

"It is remarkable to see the new ways that small and midsized businesses are adapting different technologies to make the most effective and creative use of their budgets," said Alex Terry, General Manager of Zoomerang.

"More small to midsized companies are incorporating social media practices into their business development strategies. As a result, this area of marketing is poised to see an incredible uptick in the next year."

However, the majority of SMBs do not have a website. Of those that do, many aren't hugely functional - 80% simply provide general information about their business along with contact information.

I wonder how many SMBs are running Facebook Pages as their web presence. This is a trend that some companies have been attracted to, including ad agency Grey Stockholm. Some have even gone as far as to move their website to Twitter.

The problem with moving a business' core online presence on to a social network has to be the potential for the popularity of that site to fade in time, whereas the web itself will remain.

In addition, being only visible to Facebook users limits business exposure and there's the question of who "owns" the page and data.

Tags: SMB marketing, social media, social network

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