For any small business looking to make a big splash in social media marketing there are an abundance of free tools that make it possible. The most popular of these free tools are Facebook and Twitter. With Twitter, the world’s most popular micro-blogging site, companies have an opportunity to reach a global marketplace with links, messages, photos and videos. These brief notes are broadcast and re-broadcast around the world. If you are witty and have a good message the opportunity is there for you to have your message travel all around the world and bring in mucho traffico.
Facebook is no less important to your small business social media marketing campaign. In fact, with a user base of more than 600 million billion around the world you stand an even better chance of getting your message in front of a truly global audience. The key will be creating content that is of interest to people so they want to spread that message to their friends. Just sending out messages talking about how great you or your company is won’t do the trick.
Fortunately, if this all seems like Greek to you, there are folks who can help. (Me, for instance)
A forum on how social media can benefit small businesses is a featured event at National Small Business Week, now underway in Washington, D.C. But perhaps the U.S. Small Business Association, which runs the event, is a bit late to the party — since three-quarters of small businesses are already active social media marketers, according to online marketing services firm Constant Contact, which surveyed 1,572 small businesses during March and April.
Not only has social media become a major part of small businesses’ marketing tools, Constant Contact reported, but the practice is increasing. Of the 73% of small businesses currently using social media, 80% said their use had increased during the past year — and 81% said that it will increase over the next year. Of those that are not using social media yet, 62% said they plan to start during the next year.
Facebook was the social medium of choice for 95% of the small businesses doing social media marketing, followed by 60% using Twitter, 58% using LinkedIn, 45% using YouTube and other video sharing and 23% using daily/local deal services.
In terms of effectiveness, Facebook led again, with 82% of Facebook users finding it effective as a marketing tool — followed by 73% for video-sharing users, 55% for daily/local deals, and 47% each for Twitter and LinkedIn.
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