Social media marketing has expanded significantly during the past four to six years through the growth of popular community-based websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Catching on to the trend, businesses are beginning to extend their online marketing and advertising efforts beyond paid searches, and into social networking.
Small business marketing consulting experts often use social networking sites for clients, as one can easily tap into new customer niches and also serve as an affordable complement to other marketing programs. According to the Manta Small Business Survey, 42% of respondents find social networking sites helpful in getting the word out and connecting with customers.
Although there have been a growing number of new social media companies such as Yelp, Reddit, Flickr, Tumblr, and Care2, Facebook consistently held the top spot through most of 2010, at times accounting for over half of the social traffic on the web.
However, Facebook may have to pass the social crown in 2011. According to StumbleUpon CEO Garret Camp, along with ananalytic site StatCounter, StumbleUpon has surpassed Facebook to become the number one website for generating social media traffic in the United States, accounting for 43.34% as of January 2011. The two advantages to StumbleUpon as opposed to other social media sites are the continuous traffic and its diversity in user demographics. StumbleUpon's focus on content is becoming increasingly appealing to those interested in small business online marketing via StumbleAds and its in-depth analytics package. As their website states, "StumbleUpon Advertising exposures your site to millions, bringing highly targeted users directly to your site, with no click-throughs required."
As social trends continue to influence society, online marketing and advertising will continue to be a major factor in building brand awareness. To keep up with the ever-changing online marketing trends, small organizations are starting to seek the help of an experienced small business marketing consultant to manage their newtorking efforts.