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Small Businesses Slowly Embracing Twitter

Newer businesses more likely to use social media

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Only a small percentage (9%) of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) currently use Twitter to market themselves, according to a new study by BIA/Kelsey.

In addition, 32 percent of SMBs report they plan to include social media in their marketing plans in the next 12 months by establishing a presence on social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace.

Stephen Marshall, BIA Kelsey, Director of Research and Consulting
Stephen Marshall,
BIA Kelsey,
Director of Research
and Consulting

More than a third (39%) of SMBs plan to include customer ratings or reviews on their own websites in the next 12 months, and 31 percent plan to include links or ads placed on social sites or blogs.

"Social media is clearly gaining traction among SMB advertisers," said Steve Marshall, director of research and consulting, BIA/Kelsey. "As local consumers increasingly gravitate to social networks, local businesses understand they need to be part of the conversation."

"This opens up a market opportunity for local media companies that offer products and services that enable local advertisers to easily integrate social media into their marketing efforts."

The study found the adoption of social media by SMBs is more widespread among younger businesses. The percentage of SMBs by age of business currently using Twitter for promotion is as follows:

  •   16 percent of SMBs in business three years or less
  •   11 percent of SMBs in business four to six years
  •   6 percent of SMBs in business seven to 10 years
  •   2 percent of SMBs in business 11-plus years
Small Businesses Slowly Embracing Twitter
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