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Survey: Social Media Marketing Trumps Traditional Advertising

According to yet another survey, social media marketing is still the top pick of marketing methods with small and local businesses across America.

According to the MerchantCircle quarterly confidence index distributed to 8,500 local merchants nationwide in 2010, half of those surveyed are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing since the advent of social media. Although many continue to use local search marketing, most have abandoned traditional marketing efforts (statistics below) and around 60 percent have no plans to raise their marketing budgets this year.

Which social networking sites were proven to be popular for social media marketing?

Facebook seems to be the leader, with 70 percent of those polled using Facebook for marketing, up from 50 percent in 2009. Facebook is thought to be the first choice of business owners because of its huge consumer adoption, ease-of-use and low barrier for entry. In fact, Facebook has now surpassed Google as the most widely used marketing method among local merchants; the survey revealed that Google was used by 66 percent (presumably as part of local search marketing campaigns).

Of course, the popularity of social media optimization via Twitter has snowballed, with the MerchantCircle survey reporting that nearly 40 percent of local merchants use the Twitter platform to build awareness and community around their products and services. Like Facebook, the popularity of Twitter rose dramatically since the last MerchantCircle survey.

In terms of traditional or offline marketing, print advertising by local and small businesses dropped by 33 percent in 2010, the use of print Yellow Pages decreased 18 percent and use of direct mail fell by 26 percent. Once again, social media marketing reigns supreme.

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