Today’s News Update covers an article by Erez Barak of Search Engine Watch: Social Has Crossed the Marketing Budget Chasm; Will It Drown Search?

So, why the cheese-ball 80’s cinema reference? Because according to Barak, there have been a few reports and surveys recently released that show small businesses leaning toward an emphasis on social media marketing instead of the “traditional” search marketing. The first survey he supplies shows that small business use of social media has doubled from 2009 to 2010 and is still on the rise today. Another report tells us small business owners perceive word-of-mouth marketing to be the most critical and they will accordingly allot more money to social media marketing in coming months and/or years than to search or print marketing. Barak explains that this trend is being further supported by larger, more recognizable brands using non-traditional social media to market their products, which allows consumers to trust the smaller businesses using the same tactics and strategies to reach their goals. If Pepsi is doing it, it can’t be that

Barak asks what this change might mean for search marketing and online marketing in general, and he concludes his post with a few tips to help stay on top. But what could you do specifically to maintain relevance and visibility in this ever-changing marketing world?

I suggest two things: start a consumer-relevant blog and a Facebook page. There may be some weekly upkeep on both to make sure your information is staying up-to-date, but the benefits are worth it. From an SEO standpoint, the back links you could provide your website via these two mediums could help bridge the gap between search marketing and social media. If you’re looking at it from the PPC side, Facebook campaigns are extremely useful tools when it comes to consumer products and services (take a look at this article from Abby at PPC Hero about the benefits to advertising on Facebook!) What’s fascinating about the social media world is there are always new outlets to discover, so don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to Facebook or Twitter.

What ideas do you have about how to integrate social media into your marketing plan, without counting out search? We want to hear your thoughts on how social media has affected your marketing strategies, or how you think it will continue to change the marketing world from here,. Post your ideas below in the comments section!

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Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more news updates from PPC Hero and SEO Boy!