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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.


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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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