Small businesses have increased their use of social media tools and plan to focus more on those efforts in 2011, according to a new survey from Constant Contact.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) cite Facebook and 30 percent cite Twitter as important tools for marketing, up from 50 percent and 25 percent, respectively, from March. In addition the survey indicates that small businesses now see Facebook as equally important as face-to-face interactions; 62% cited face-to-face interactions as important. Traditional marketing activities, including websites, email marketing, event marketing, and online surveys, all saw modest increases in importance this fall.
"Today’s reality is that everyone is trying to do more with less," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact.
"Small organizations don’t have the luxury of full-time, dedicated social media staff like larger companies do, but that’s not stopping them from using social media marketing to broaden their marketing reach."
When looking for new customers, 91% cite the value and importance of word of mouth. Other online tools rate as very important as tools for finding new customers; 68.8% rate a company’s website and 58.6% rate email marketing as very important for finding new customers. Nearly 75% of respondents said they expect their businesses to grow in the next year.
"While we can’t predict the economy, we expect that small businesses will continue to survive and thrive in 2011 by finding new, innovative ways to grow their businesses using limited budget and resources," said Goodman.
"We anticipate further adoption of social media marketing tools as a way to give added lift to other proven marketing winners, including email and event marketing."