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Main Street Goes Social: SMBs Give A Big Thumbs-Up To Social Media

  • ID: 2016295
  • Report
  • January 2012
  • Region: United States
  • 22 Pages
  • Borrell Associates Inc
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There’s no doubt that small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) are buzzing over social media. To them it’s the Holy Grail — an opportunity to disintermediate those expensive local media channels and deliver their offers directly to potential customers. And not spend a dime!

Or at least that’s what they think. In a survey of more than 4,000 SMBs, local businesses said they expected to spend 13.7 percent of their online advertising budgets on social media in the coming year. That means their expenditure on social media — which settled in at $1.1 billion in 2011, or 6.6 percent of all local online advertising — is likely to double this year. Borrell Associates' forecast for 2012 has SMBs spending $2.0 billion, then doubling again in 2013, to $3.9 billion.

Nearly two-thirds of SMBs were reporting last year that they had a social media presence — most notably on Facebook. According to a survey, that will jump to almost 80 percent before the end of 2012. In fact, Main Street businesses listed social media as the third-highest category in online spending in the coming year — ahead of banner ads, streaming video ads and even mobile advertising.

This 22-page report from industry experts Borrell Associates, Inc. includes 12 charts and graphics detailing the social media phenomenon that’s enthralling SMBs. You’ll learn how much local businesses are spending on social media, how much of their marketing budgets that accounts for, and what type of results they’re expecting from this type of online engagement. It also features an appendix listing nearly 150 of the largest social media sites and the number of registered users for each, and an appendix with our four-page Social Media Local Ad Spending (LA$R™) data for the U.S. The report forecasts social media expenditures – breaking out advertising and promotions – and offers the results from our survey of more than 4,200 SMBs.

Though it is impossible to foresee exactly how online social media will have evolved by 2016, it’s likely that it will play a far bigger part in the marketing activities of U.S. businesses large and small. For these reasons, Borrell forecasts that the next five years will see spending by SMBs on social site marketing increase sevenfold, to $7.8 billion in 2016.

Social media include websites, apps or other online platforms where the vast majority of content is provided by the users themselves. Social media function primarily as platforms for user conversation and the exchange of ideas. There is little or no content control, as these media seldom have paid writers or editors. The universe of online social networking includes general sites such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, ethnic networks such as Blackplanet, Latpro Network and Muxlim, business-oriented sites such as LinkedIn, Focus, Quora and Ryze, and thousands of other special-interest sites.
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Social Marketing: Easy to Find, Hard to Measure
Fig.1.1: Current Use of Social Sites by U.S. Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs)
Definition of Social Media
Fig.1.2: Estimated 2011 Use of Social Marketing Platforms by U.S. Businesses

How Much Are SMBs Spending?
Fig.2.1: Reported 2011 Spending Levels for Online Ad Categories
Fig.2.2: Projected 2011 Social Site Online Ad Spending, by Category
Fig.2.3: 2011 Projected Online Social Media Spending — Advertising vs. Promotions
Fig.2.4: Projected 2011 Social Site Online Promotions Spending, by Category

Who’s Getting Social, and Where the Money Goes
Fig.3.1: U.S. Social Site Usage by Advertiser Category
Fig.3.2: How $6.27 Billion in Social Media Spending Was Shared in 2011

How SMBs Measure Social Media Success
Fig.4.1: Most Important Metrics for Measuring Social Media Marketing Success
Fig.4.2: Forecast Growth in Online Social Marketing Spending — 2011 Through 2016
Fig.4.3: U.S. Local Social Site Marketing Spending, 2011 — 2012
Fig.4.4: Forecast U.S. Local Social Site Marketing Spending, 2011—2016

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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown