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Small Businesses to Ramp Up Mobile, Social Marketing in 2012

December 6, 2011

With smartphone penetration reaching an impressive 80% in the small-business community, interest in mobile marketing is mounting: 21.8% of small-business decision-makers say they plan to dedicate more resources to mobile marketing in 2012, up from the 12.6% who said so a year earlier, according to a report by Ad-ology Research.

In addition, one in five surveyed SMB decision-makers (small- and mid-sized businesses; defined in the study as organizations with fewer than 100 employees) plan to develop a mobile app in 2012:

Below, additional finding from Ad-ology's annual Small Business Marketing Forecast.

Social media has reached a tipping point: Only 10% of small-business decision-makers say they will not use social media in 2012, down from the 24% who said so in 2011. Moreover, one-half of small businesses plan to spend more time and/or money on social media in 2012.

Small businesses are using a variety of social media channels, but Facebook is the most widely used, and appears to be the most effective: 

  • Facebook is ranked as the social media site most beneficial: 86.8% of small-business decision-makers use the social networking site for marketing with 77.3% saying their efforts are very or somewhat beneficial for business. 
  • Twitter penetration has reached 71.4% in the small business community with 56.0% saying Twitter marketing is very or somewhat beneficial.
  • Google+ penetration (64.3%) is already rivaling LinkedIn (66.9%) in the small business community; 53.2% of small-business decision-makers say their efforts with Google+ are very or somewhat beneficial, while 51.2% say the same about LinkedIn.

Though more than six in ten (61.6%) small businesses use YouTube, only 45.0% rate the video-sharing site as very or somewhat beneficial. 

Small businesses have been slow to adopt Foursquare (only 40.3% have done so) and only 24.1% report the geo-location platform as very or somewhat effective.

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