Regular readers will know that we are strong advocates for local social search; in fact,
many of our clients have been actively using it for quite awhile now even as others languish behind. Unlike other social media management agencies, we believe diversity is the best way to maximize returns and minimize risk when it comes to social media marketing. Apparently, our “secret” is out and gaining ground among many of the biggest and brightest technology firms in the nation. In fact, it wouldn’t be too much to say that local social marketing is getting ready to explode! Keep reading to learn why and how to position your business for best results.
Social Spurs Spending
The first tidbit of information is particularly interesting…albeit only indirectly related to the explosion of local social search marketing; social media is consuming more time than ever among average consumers and those that use such networks tend to spend more than other shoppers. How much more? Well, according to recent research, as little as 5 minutes of Facebook usage per day was shown to result in more spending. With more than 1 Billion current users, Facebook is not only the largest social media site in existence but poised to DOUBLE by 2014…just over one year from now! Currently, over 70% of Internet users use Facebook and spend an average of eight hours a month on the site…substantially more than the mere 5 minutes that it takes to increase spending.
Competition Heating Up
In an effort to attract the attention of all those social media shoppers, local business owners are preparing to invest heavily into local social marketing. In fact, according to a survey entitled “National Brand Use of Digital in Local Marketing”, Balihoo determined that just under 1/2 of marketing pro’s intend to invest into local marketing next year. Only 44% intend to spend the same amount as this year; an impressive gain given the relatively slow economic growth experienced throughout the year. Of additional interest is the fact that nearly 2 out of 3 rated digital as “extremely” or “very” important to brand success.
What Tools are Preferred?
So, savvy small business owners should be wondering which tools are preferred among marketing pro’s…especially those that are not currently being used by the business. As expected, there was a bit of a divide when it came to nationwide versus small local business but in general, mobile marketing was at the top of both lists followed very closely with blogs and customer reviews. This trend is totally in keeping with SoLoMO (social, local mobile) initiatives which we have been reporting on for quite some time. Clearly mobile, local social search and the ability to generate buss via positive testimonials is a key priority especially since all three work hand in hand.
What Tools are Not Preferred?
Equally interesting is what tools didn’t make the list. For example, local websites were not considered a top priority in part, because most sites already have a website but also due to the decreasing importance of websites in general. Mobile users now represent a significant portion of the way in which people connect to the Internet and many are now using apps to access information needed. But even that isn’t the whole story; many users are simply seeking specific information like directions and reviews without having to interact with a website. Last but not least, many are now going directly to the social media site of a business and bypassing a traditional website.
Big Isn’t Better
When it comes to local, big isn’t always better. In fact, Google local social search provides small business owners with a distinct advantage when it comes to maximizing their social media presence. They not only get top billing but find it relatively easy to take the first spot when marketing via local social search. Add in mobile plus a well planned social media campaign for results that make the big boys turn green with envy! And green is exactly what small business owners are raking in thanks to the ability to increase SEO visibility and social media ranking while spending less than ever on traditional marketing. In fact, the results are so impressive that many of the nation’s largest business corporations are taking note…nearly half intend to increase their spending budgets specifically targeting local marketing for their national brands. What does this mean for small business owners? Well, in part, NOW is the time to secure your position before competition heats up. Local websites and search registration is no longer the driving force behind big business movements; instead, reviews, mobile and other local social initiatives are key targets.
Google Has Grown Up
In the last little bit of news; Google has now surpassed Print Media Marketing! It has now become official; Internet marketing by Google alone now exceeds all print media marketing for the first time in history. During the first six months of 2012, Google brought in just under $11 Billion in advertising revenue versus $10.5 for all print media including newspapers and magazines…combined! Clearly, the trend is not likely to end making it more important than ever for small business owners to up the ante on social media and SEO marketing while making a permanent transition away from traditional print advertising options.