Small Business Social Media Use Surges AGAIN

The number of small businesses using social media to market, brand, advertise, and promote is still surging.

Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim writes: “It’s good to see the little guy get more involved with social media. Unlike search marketing (in particular paid search) social media allows for some true creativity and because of its relatively low cost (notice I didn’t say free) the small business has less of a chance of getting burned. I can’t tell you how many times I speak to SMB’s who bemoan how much money they have spent on paid search and have seen no return. Social media opportunities are a breath of fresh air to these people.”

More small businesses use Twitter, Facebook to promote July 22, 2010 – SAN FRANCISCO / USA TODAY — A surge in social-media use by small businesses reflects a shift in how they operate and their comfort with increasingly easy-to-use technology.

In growing numbers, small-business owners are adopting social-networking services, location-based services, Twitter and online video to promote products and services, according to a new study by MerchantCircle, a social network for small businesses. It polled a fraction of its more than 1.3 million members.

The survey results are the strongest evidence yet that small businesses — which account for more than 90% of all U.S. companies and fuel the economy — are accelerating their use of social media at the expense of traditional media such as newspapers, the Yellow Pages and radio. Even e-mail messages have taken a beating.

Businesses with fewer than five employees “see Facebook and others as a way to reach targeted consumers” while saving marketing expenditures during a rough economy, says Darren Waddell, vice president of marketing at MerchantCircle.

For the first time, social media has become the most visible way for small businesses to promote their products and services. More than half of nearly 10,000 respondents nationwide say they plan to create or maintain a social-networking presence in the next three months, compared with 41% in the first three months of this year.

That is the highest figure since the survey started a year ago.