The digital advertising market should reach $23 billion in 2011. A significant and fast growing portion of that market will be comprised of social media activity on the part of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). This fast-growing trend has research shops such as BIA/Kelsey dedicating more resources to tracking social media spending and practices. The firm recently announced its new focus with a service called Social Local Media (SLM). The findings are of interest to media space providers and SMBs.

According to BIA/Kelsey research,  SMBs are using social media channels at the following levels:

  • Facebook: 48%
  • Email: 43%
  • Other social network: 25
  • Blog: 22%
  • Twitter: 19%

The firm’s most recent Local Commerce Monitor finds that SMB Twitter use doubled over the past year.  By comparison, the number of SMBs using traditional Yellow Pages remains unchanged at 29%.  Here are the other media formats that SMBs will be turning to this year:

  • Video on other websites: 14%
  • Video on their websites: 32%
  • Links/ads on social sites: 46%
  • Customer ratings/reviews: 39%

These findings largley mirror the results published in  Ad-ology’s Small Business Marketing Forecast which projected a 45% increase in online video efforts by SMBs this year.

Neal Polachek, president, BIA/Kelsey confirms “[s]ocial local media, as a marketing, customer-care and content agent, has crossed the mainstream threshold.”  As use levels have reached critical mass, more research shops will be studying and predicting the mix and effectiveness of new media formats. And marketers appear to be moving more resources into the social media stream at the cost of traditional marketing formats.

[Sources: BIA/Kelsey Launches Social Local Media Advisory. Biakelsey.com. 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 8 Mar. 2011; Sullivan, Laurie. BIA/Kelsey Adds Local social to Search. SearchBlog.com. 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 8 Mar. 2011]