BIA/Kelsey Adds Local Social To Search


Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) have latched onto social networks as the advertising tool of choice to promote products and services. In fact, 48% said they use Facebook, 25% rely on other social networks, 22% use blogs, and 19% tap Twitter, according to the latest BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor (LCM), an ongoing study of SMB advertising spending habits conducted in partnership with ConStat.  

BIA/Kelsey, which historically focused on local search trends, now supports social with the launch of BIA/Kelsey's new advisory service -- Social Local Media (SLM) -- geared toward supporting SMBs.

Search and social will continually blend. The use of Twitter by SMBs more than doubled to 19% in Q4 2010 -- up from 9% in the year-ago quarter -- whereas the use of Yellow Page print directories remained steady at 29%, according to the LCM study.

When asked about the use of video, links, blogs and customer reviews and ratings within the next 12 months, 14% of the SMBs participating in the survey said they would aggressively use video on other Web sites within the next year. Thirty-two percent said they would use video on their own Web sites, 46% would use links and ads on social sites and blogs, and 39% would rely on customer ratings and reviews. That compares with 7%, 16%, 35% and 29%, respectively, during the past 12 months.

SLM highlights buyers, sellers, platform developers, vendors, practitioners and thought leaders engaged in the use of social media tools and techniques to enhance customer relationships. This analysis looks at the social media space as it evolves from search, display, mobile and directory platforms, and organizes into its own distinct personality and value proposition as part of the local advertising mix.

Program Director Jed Williams leads the practice. Through a partnership with BIA/Kelsey, Andrew Shotland of will work with Williams as associate program director.

SLM focuses on new local monetization models for social networks; metrics that measure social initiatives; social media transactions; social media valuations and valuation models; social commerce; Facebook's continued evolution; social's role in e-mail, reputation and presence management; next steps for check-in services; and industry analysis of how various media segments use social channels.

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