Following up on our post about advertisers’ growing interest in social media, I wanted to share this new study by BIA/Kelsey that finds small and mid-size businesses are increasingly leveraging social media in their marketing approaches.
Here are a couple interesting stats from the research:
- 32% plan on including social media in their marketing strategies during the next year through social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Specifically, 9% are currently using Twitter to marketing their brands.
- 39% plan to include customer ratings or reviews on their Web sites, 23% plan to incorporate video on their sites, and 31% plan to include links or ads placed on social networking sites or blogs.
- The use of social media is more prevalent among younger businesses: 16% using social media have been in business for three years or less, while only 2% using social media have been in business for more than 11 years.
Social media is continuing to attract larger online audiences. Facebook’s U.S. growth increased by 8.6% in September 2009 to 88.3 million visitors, according to an analysis by InsideFacebook.com, which tracks Facebook’s self-reported demographic statistics for the U.S. market. Twitter had 23,5 million U.S. monthly users in September 2009, up more than 700% from its unique audience in September 2008, according to Compete.com, a web analytics company.
At Kelsey’s DMS conference last month, social media was a big topic of interest, and I think the findings of the survey show why. A third of small businesses plan to include social media next year, and it’s only likely to grow from there. This important shift in how newer companies are prioritizing their marketing strategies is a sign of bigger things to come, and a critical trend for Yellow Pages companies to consider. After all, shouldn’t we be there when the consumer comes looking for information?