We tell our SEO clients that Social Media is absolutely critical to their long-term success.  Page 1 of Google is important, no one will deny that, but the reality is that relationship based marketing through Social Media is going to change the way everyone interacts.  It's changing the fundamental concepts of how people search for information.

Microsoft was the original dominant player in personal computing – with Windows and the Office Suite of tools.  The last 5 years has seen the emergence of Google as an undeniable force in virtually everyone's lives.  Google influences more purchases than any other medium, and has become as synonymous with search as Xerox was with copying.

Like it or not, Google is no longer alone.  Social Media — more specifically FaceBook and their almost 450 million users, are now truly on par with Google.  Did you know that more people play Farmville than are members of Twitter!  FaceBook is on the fast track to hitting 1 billion users.  Even today – one out of every 4 Americans has a FaceBook page.
With the largest user base of any Social Media site, and easily the most active, FaceBook can not be ignored.  FaceBook will continue to emerge as the driving force for small to medium businesses in developing relationships with their customers, and engaging in innovative marketing.  The important thing for local businesses is that they need to recognize this trend and capitalize on it now before their competition does.