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Social media has become an important marketing tool for small businesses, particularly younger firms: 32% of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) in operation for 0-6 years use Twitter, compared with just 7% of those in business for 11+ years, according to a report from BIA/Kelsey. Meanwhile, Twitter use among SMBs doubled, from 9% in 2009 to 19% in 2010.

The longer a SMB has been in business, the less likely it is to use Twitter, whereas older SMBs (11+ years in business) are more likely to use printed Yellow Pages (37%) than those in business 0-3 years (17%) or 4-6 years (22%).

Below, other findings from BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor study, conducted by ConStat.

Facebook More-Widely Used than Email

Nearly one-half (48%) of surveyed SMBs use Facebook to promote their businesses—even more than the 43% of SMBs that report using e-mail marketing.

Over one in five (22%) SMBs use blogging to promote their businesses.

Looking for real, hard data that can help you match social media tools and tactics to your marketing goals? The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs, gives you the inside scoop on how 5,140 marketing pros are using social media to create winning campaigns, measure ROI, and reach audiences in new and exciting ways.

Planned Increases of Web 2.0 Technologies

SMBs plan to increase their use of Web 2.0-based tools in the next 12 months:

  • 46% plan to aggressively use links and ads on social sites and blogs in the next year, up from the 35% that did so in the previous 12 months.
  • 39% plan to use customer ratings and reviews,up from 29%.
  • 32% plan to aggressively use video on their own websites, up from 16%.

About the data: BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor Wave 14 was conducted in November 2010 via online survey of 307 small- to mid-sized businesses.

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