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Small Businesses Projected to Spend More on Social Media than Paid Search

Borrell Associates has released a new report about small businesses (SMB) and their adoption of social media. According to the report, as many as 64% of small businesses have social media presences, and the majority of them use Facebook. These numbers vary slightly from other recent studies, but as a whole, popular studies have found somewhere between 58-70% of small businesses using social media.
The study asked SMBs where they planned on spending their money in the upcoming year, and 13.7% of respondents chose social media marketing. This is right below search engine marketing, but it would not be surprising to see to two switch places in 2012, given the ever increasing price and competition of pay-per-click advertising.
When asked how they measure social media success, the majority of SMBs answered “new customers,” followed by “additional fans, friends, and followers.” The median number of followers among SMBs was 250. Many of these followers were relatively inactive, and display a low level of engagement with the companies that they follow.
Just as it happened with PPC advertising, the social media space will begin to me more and more competitive as new companies enter the space. This coming year will be a great year to hire social media experts, to ensure that your company stays ahead of the competition.