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Social Media Marketing has held the spot light on the internet for sometime now. Whole industries, including social media celebrities, "how to guru's" have arisen since its advent. Its viral power and the take-up of the many different social media platforms is truly extra-ordinary. With such a massive base of people using social media it's not surprising then, that both small and big businesses have also been seduced by its viral power and appeal.
As with all exponential growth or booms there is inevitably a bust also. Now please do not get me wrong, I am a great fan as well as devoted user of social media myself, but for many small businesses, in fact nearly sixty percent, according to the 2012 Internet Marketing For Small Businesses Industry Report which surveyed over 1200 small businesses, found that they will choose at least one form of traditional internet marketing activity such as email marketing over social media in 2012. This includes the big four platforms; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Linked In.
One hint as to why, could be the absolute plethora of social media "how to guru's" that have sprung up. The sheer number of these people indicate that it is not as easy as it seems to have any real measure of success in many platforms.
Of course, you will almost never see such a strong swing back toward a specific form of marketing if it didn't produce results. That is not to say that social media is not effective, just complex! According to one social media expert, Amy Porterfield whom specialises in Facebook marketing, says that "lack luster results" in social media can be attributed to, "too many options... and resources... that result in stress and overwhelm."
So what does the future of social media hold? To begin with any search engine optimisation (SEO) expert will tell you that social media is an integral part of any websites overall SEO and has great traffic drawing potential. However with so many different social media options out there, I think you will almost certainly see the amalgamation if not demise of a number of smaller platforms.
I believe what will happen is small business will ultimately choose 2 or 3 platforms at the very most to take up, further I will go on record as saying that I believe that small business have already made there choice as to which 3 will become their tools of choice, they are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
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