Brafton reported earlier this year that surveys showed small business social ad spending is on the rise, and new evidence indicates that SMBs look at social channels as one of their most important marketing tactics. The results of a Constant Contact survey reported by eMarketer reveal that Facebook is now small businesses' third-leading marketing tool.
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses rated Facebook as their most important marketing tool. EMarketer indicates that the social network's rank as an important marketing platform demonstrates a 13 percent increase over last March, when Constant Contact asked SMB marketers the same question.
The firm suggests Facebook's rise is linked to small businesses' focus on fostering good word-of-mouth referrals (both online and offline). Word-of-mouth was deemed the most valuable tactic in attracting new customers by far, with 90.6 percent of respondents saying it was a " very important" strategy.
The social network followed websites and email marketing, respectively, as a top marketing tool – and marketers should remember that quality content is needed on all three of these marketing channels.
Social content marketing is expected to be key to catching clicks in 2011. As Brafton has reported, it is also becoming a competitive necessity – 73 percent of businesses with a social strategy in place seed their social sites with original, branded content.