There are people inside and outside the industry who have no use for social media marketing. Then there’s the other half who are driven to purchase thanks to their “relationship” with the brand, however tenuous.
According to eMarketer:
Marketers still skeptical of the overall influence of social media on online purchasing habits have reason to rethink that skepticism. In fact, buyers who purchase or convert online are almost as likely to use a combination of search and social resources (48%) as they are to use just search (51%) along the path to purchase.
Furthermore, when consumers were exposed to both brand-specific search results and social media, search clickthrough rates increased by 94%, indicating the investment in social media can help marketers to better influence consumers during their purchasing process and boost search performance.
Interestingly, more than half of small business owners say they need help with search engine marketing, according to American Express OPEN Forum.
Search engine campaign management is generally handled internally (73%), with almost half of respondents indicating that they do it themselves (47%). One-in-five (22%) indicated that they have a staff member that handles SEM in addition to other responsibilities.
The most common online marketing techniques currently being utilized by small businesses are a company website (86%) followed by social media (44%). One-in-five (21%) small businesses report they are utilizing search advertising.