Social Media Marketing Grows Among Small Businesses
title=Face-to-Face Interactions Still Key} Although social media marketing efforts are growing, it is not at the expense of other marketing efforts; in fact, 65 percent report that social media tools complement other forms of marketing. The survey also found that 95 percent of participants use email marketing, 98 percent use Websites, 71 percent use print advertising, 66 percent use online advertising, and 55 percent use event marketing. While online tools are clear time- and resource-savers for maxed-out small businesses, those same small businesses continue to voice the importance of face-to-face interactions. The survey found 81 percent of the survey respondents report using face-to-face interactions to connect with current or prospective customers. Further, 62 percent plan to host an event in the next twelve months to accomplish that goal and 69 percent see events as an effective way to introduce consumers to their products and services. In addition, 68 percent see events as an effective way to find new customers."Small businesses want to have face-to-face interactions with customers and prospects, and event marketing has quickly become a go-to strategy for small businesses who want to connect in person with their current or prospective customers--but need an efficient way to get the work of an event done," said Chris Litster, vice president and general manager of event marketing for Constant Contact. "Events offer small businesses a great way to take a relationship that may have started via email marketing and use an in-person connection to build it into a long-lasting relationship."One platform that small businesses have not yet incorporated into their integrated marketing program is mobile: A full 72 percent of respondents report that they don't incorporate mobile into their marketing campaigns, and only 13 percent have created a mobile-friendly Website. The Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in October 2011 to small business owners and employees. Results include responses from 1,972 respondents across a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. Of the respondents, 87 percent of are located in the United States and 81 percent of these organizations have 25 or fewer employees.