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More and more businesses are adding social media to their marketing strategies.  They're using Facebook and LinkedIn and numerous other sites.  They're microblogging on sites like Twitter, a social networking service, that enables individuals to send short messages called "tweets."

This trend is just beginning to generate some momentum. Forrester, a major technology and market research company, teamed with MarketingProfs, a leading resource for marketing professionals, to survey business-to-business marketers in January 2010 to gauge growth and investment in social media strategies.  The survey showed that while businesses were experimenting widely, social media had not yet become a major item in 2009 marketing budgets.

Even though social media was not a major budgeted item in 2009, the Forrester Survey did uncover some interesting facts:

  • More than two thirds - 68 percent - of the businesses Forrester surveyed had opened group pages on social network sites.
  • 55 percent said they were using Twitter for marketing. 
  • Corporate blogging in 2009 was up from the previous year, with 49 percent using blogs to communicate with the marketplace.

Many companies still see social media as risky.  After all, by entering this world, they are often putting their message in the hands of the customer.  The upside is obvious: Social media affords a unique opportunity to talk directly with buyers. And happy customers posting positive product reviews can be a very powerful force for a brand seeking to grow!

*reprinted from NewPage Corporation Ed #14