Facebook is gaining popularity in the US, an Internet friendly country, as a marketing tool for small businesses. It is inexpensive and simple to use. Research by MerchantCircle, a network of business owners in the US, indicated 70% of polled businesses are signed up on Facebook. Last year the number was a mere 50%.
The direct competitor to Facebook as a marketing tool is Google. 66% said Google is their number one channel for marketing. And for being found, Google Search is favoured over Facebook at 40%, as opposed to the latter’s 37% share.
Search and email marketing approaches are still favourites with businesses that lack time and are afraid of risk. In the US these are what smaller businesses are leaning on, rather than collective purchasing promotions or mobile marketing. These are perceived of as too new to be true.
The result of businesses leaning more on Facebook for their marketing, 2010 saw a decline in the old-fashioned approaches of the Yellow Pages and other print avenues from 13% to 18%. Direct mail, the junk mail ads everyone hates and throws in the bin, slipped from 39% to 28%, thank God.
In light of the recession, businesses have unbelievably tight budgets. Many admit that they cannot shell out any more than $2500 per year on advertising. Almost 2/3 reveal that they will not be increasing their advertising budget in the near future. They cannot afford to give any new approaches a try. Now every business manager must rule the company in the daytime and perform Facebook marketing task at night. This is the shape of 2011.