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Follow me: Small businesses see surge in Twitter, social media for 2010 (access required)

By Austin Light CHARLOTTE — It’s hard to find a business marketing conference or weekend seminar these days that doesn’t offer tips on social media. 2009 was a banner year for online communication tools like Facebook and Twitter; the former has gained more than 225 million users this year. Studies are pointing for that growth to continue, especially among small businesses looking to use the free tools to market products and services. Whether a growth in online marketing will lead to a decrease in traditional marketing remains to be seen. In a survey by VerticalResponse Inc., an email marketing company, more than two-thirds of 831 respondents — all small business owners with 500 or fewer employees — said they will use more email marketing and social media in 2010. Given the numbers online networks are pulling down, that’s not a big surprise, said Jim Mitchem of Smash Communications, a Charlotte advertising agency that uses social media extensively. “I think any business can benefit from social media, because any business can benefit from enhanced communication,” Mitchem said. “Whether it’s internally, externally, to sell a product — there are all kinds of ways it can be useful.”


  1. Great Article Austin!

    Social media can be leveraged in many way to further business goals but it is important to have traditional marketing strategies locked down and in ship shape.

    If you are working with a low low budget social media can be a cheap alternative road to go down, but like you said time is money. People are quick to jump on the twitter and facebook bandwagon without realizing that there are numerous other social networking sites and forums out there. These are smaller niche sites but the relationships formed in them can be much more powerful than blasting out messages on twitter and facebook to the masses.

    It is important to remember from a social media marketing standpoint that Facebook and Twitter are merely tools. How you leverage the tools there is where the money is made. Its all Strategy Vs Tactics….

    Traditional media marketing isn’t and shouldn’t be going anywhere. In fact, most successful social media campaigns are backed by traditional media outlets to foster engagement and traffic. It would be silly to silo the two apart. Syncing up traditional and social media is a must and hopefully people will get the idea eventually.

    my two cents

  2. Nice job Austin – I really enjoyed the article and though it was well written.

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