9% of SMBs Currently Use Twitter to Market Their Businesses, According to BIA/Kelsey

October 21, 2009

Latest wave of BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor study reveals 32 percent of small-business advertisers plan to include social media in their marketing mix in the next 12 months

CHANTILLY, Va. (October 21, 2009) – According to the latest wave of BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor study, 9 percent of small and medium-sized businesses currently use Twitter to market their businesses. In addition, 32 percent of SMBs indicated they plan to include social media in their marketing mix in the next 12 months by using a page on a social site such as Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace. Furthermore, 39 percent of SMBs plan to include customer ratings or reviews on their own Web sites, 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 revealed adoption of social media by SMBs is more prevalent 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

The use of social media by SMBs will be examined at BIA/Kelsey’s upcoming conference, Interactive Local Media 2009 (ILM:09), Dec. 9-11 in Los Angeles, California. A session titled “Local/Social: Better Engagement Than Search?” featuring Tim Kendall, director of monetization, Facebook, and Kara Nortman, senior vice president of publishing, Citysearch, will explore the role of social media relative to local search advertising, and how social media can translate into effective leads for local businesses.

ILM:09 is BIA/Kelsey’s annual conference devoted to digital media with a local focus. The theme for this year’s event is “Monetizing the Local Opportunity,” and the agenda will cover a range of important topics, including local social media, local search and mobile search. Conference sponsors include 3L System Group, Acxiom, AgendiZe, Exalead, Local.com, Local Matters, Localeze, Marchex and MatchCraft. Association partners include International Classified Media Association (ICMA) and Yellow Pages Association (YPA). Media partners include AIM Group, TVover.net and YP Talk. For more information, visit www.kelseygroup.com/ilm2009.

About Local Commerce Monitor
Local Commerce Monitor is BIA/Kelsey’s annual tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses, conducted with research partner ConStat since 1999. The survey measures where SMBs are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving. Local Commerce Monitor draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, which include first- and second-tier markets. Local Commerce Monitor Wave XIII was conducted in August 2009 via an online survey of 1,092 SMBs, comprising a core sample of 302 SMBs, plus SMBs from three “super vertical” categories—home/trade services, professional services and financial services.

About BIA/Kelsey
BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through Consulting and Valuation Services, Research, Continuous Advisory Services, and Conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directories markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey’s annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at www.bia.com and www.kelseygroup.com. The company’s blogs are located at http://blog.bia.com/bia/ and http://blog.kelseygroup.com, and it can be found on Twitter through http://twitter.com/BIAfn.

For more information contact:

Eileen Pacheco
The Kelsey Group
(781) 556-1026 | Eileen@tango-group.com

MacKenzie Lovings
BIA Advisory Services, LLC
(703) 802-2992 | mlovings@bia.com

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