The hotdog vendor has a social media strategy, do you?
Social media is now a bonafide marketing tool for small and medium enterprises. A recent report from Borrell Associates showed how SMEs have adopted social media strategies to enhance their marketing efforts. Most local businesses have contributed to the SME adoption of social media as a marketing boost. It's not a secret that a social network like Facebook has become a marketplace turning it to a destination-location for merchants and customers.
The report shows that most local businesses between 45% and 70% have already established a social media presence through Facebook and about 60% and 64% of these businesses have a formal presence on social media sites. These aren't surprising figures, MerchantCircle found that 70% of SMEs are already using Facebook as a means to promoted their products and services. However, Borrell's report showed that social media marketing was still behind SEO and paid-search last year.
Many local businesses still depend on SEO for potential customers to find them and improve their lead generation. But SMM is catching up in a tremendous way, the report estimates that $6.2 billion was spent on paid-social in 2011. Facebook's advertising platform has covered 65% of the entire social media advertising last year. With Twitter's Promoted Tweets and Facebook enhanced advertising platform, it's a possibility that budget for social media advertising will surpass SEO and paid-search.
SEO pundits might raise their eyebrows with these findings, but it's a fact that Facebook being more complicated to use with its gamut of changes and the lack of a standard metric for social ROI conversion rates. It's too early to tell if social media advertising is the end-all and be-all to improve your online marketing. One thing’s for sure, as long as Google’s social products like Google Places and Google+ integrate smoothly with Google’s search engine, search engine marketing is always the old reliable.