Some 9% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) use Twitter to market their business, and 32% of SMBs say they plan to include social media in their marketing mix over the next year by developing a page on a social venue such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or MySpace, according to a study from research firm BIA/Kelsey.

Other Web 2.0-Based Marketing Strategies

SMBs also intend to use a diverse range of new Web 2.0-based capabilities in the next 12 months: 39% plan to include customer ratings or reviews on their websites; 23% plan to incorporate video on their websites; and 31% plan to include links or ads place on social sites or blogs.

Higher Adoption Among Younger Businesses

Social media is being used more by younger companies: 16% of SMBs in business three years or less report using Twitter for marketing; 11% of SMBs in business 4-6 years; 6% of SMBs in business 7-10 years; and 2% of SMBs in business for 11+ years.

"Social media is clearly gaining traction among SMB advertisers," said Steve Marshal, director of research and consulting at BIA/Kelsey. "As local consumers increasingly gravitate to social networks, local businesses understand they need to be part of the conversation. This opens up a market opportunity for local media companies that offer products and services that enable local advertisers to easily integrate social media into their marketing efforts."

(The use of social media by SMBs will be examined at BIA/Kelsey's upcoming conference, Interactive Local Media 2009 (ILM:09), Dec. 9-11 in Los Angeles.)

About the data: Findings are from the Local Commerce Monitor, Wave XII, August 2009, an annual tracking survey of SMBs and media, conducted by BIA/Kelsey. Online participants in the nationwide survey included business owners and advertising and marketing decision-makers, representing industries such as home and trade services, professional services, and financial services. The study was cosponsored by ConStat.

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SMBs to Boost Twitter Use for Marketing

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