Social Media are Now the Top Marketing Strategy for Local Businesses

With small businesses have a smaller and smaller budget for advertising, many are realizing the advantages of marketing using social media sites.

Facebook is one of the easiest social media sites to use for marketing. The site continues to be a popular way for merchants to market their business, with 70 percent using the social network for marketing, up from 50 percent one year ago. In fact, Facebook has now surpassed Google (66 percent) as the most widely used marketing method amongst local merchants.

Facebook Places has benefited from this high level of adoption, soaring past Foursquare to reach a 32 percent current usage rate. While Foursquare’s usage is up from just 2 percent one year ago, use of the location-based service has remained steady at about 9 percent over the past two quarters.

Twitter has also grown in popularity over the past year, with nearly 40 percent of local merchants using the microblogging platform to build awareness and community around their products and services, up from 32 percent in quarter four of 2009.