Social media is now the #2 choice for US small businesses using online marketing, second only to company websites. As of March 2011,
- 44% of survey respondents use social media for marketing
- 28% use SEO
- 21% use paid search
More small businesses plan to use social media in their online marketing in 2011 than any other method (other than their company website).
Other research supports the significant role social media is playing in small business marketing. A study of U.S. local businesses from the first quarter of 2011 shows that 70% are using Facebook, 40% are using Twitter, and 37% believe that creating a profile on a social network is a highly effective marketing/advertising method.
eMarketer states that a ‘reliance on word-of-mouth’ – 82% of small businesses believe their new customers come from word-of-mouth – and the low cost of participation have led small businesses to make social media a high priority for their online marketing efforts.