Press Release

BIA/Kelsey Launches 'Social Local Media' Advisory Service Focused on the Growing Significance of Social Platforms in Local Media
Underscoring the influence of social on local media, findings from the firm’s Local Commerce Monitor study indicate 48 percent of SMBs surveyed use Facebook and 19 percent use Twitter for advertising and promoting their business

CHANTILLY, Va. (Feb. 23, 2011) - BIA/Kelsey, adviser to companies in the local media space, today launched Social Local Media (SLM), a new advisory service dedicated to covering the growing and dynamic social media ecosystem and the best opportunities for driving revenues with social platforms. SLM was created to address the rapidly developing social segment of what the firm estimates will be a $23 billion digital advertising market in 2011.

Confirmation of the significance of social platforms for local media and advertising comes from the latest wave of BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor (LCM), an ongoing study of the advertising spending habits of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), conducted with research partner ConStat. LCM reveals intense use of social media by SMBs, as 48 percent of respondents said they are using Facebook for advertising or promoting their business. Among those surveyed, 40 percent said they have a Facebook page specifically for their business. Additional findings indicate that among respondents, 25 percent use other social networks, 22 percent use a blog and 19 percent use Twitter to promote their business.

“Social local media, as a marketing, customer-care and content agent, has crossed the mainstream threshold,” said Neal Polachek, president, BIA/Kelsey. “As with any growing marketing channel, the use of social platforms brings questions and concerns about where companies should allocate their efforts and budgets. By concentrating on social local media, we are using our resources to help our clients make sense of where this new ecosystem is headed and how they can participate effectively, both strategically and from a revenue perspective.”

SLM will spotlight buyers, sellers, platform developers, vendors, practitioners and thought leaders engaged in the use of social media tools and techniques to forward customer relationships. This analysis across the ecosystem is imperative as the social media space 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. SLM will focus on helping media companies and social platform suppliers identify the best integration strategies for implementing social across media, marketing and advertising channels in a manner that drives revenues.

The SLM practice will be led by Program Director Jed Williams. Williams joined BIA/Kelsey in 2010 as an industry analyst with more than 10 years of experience on both the business and content sides of media. Through a partnership with BIA/Kelsey, Andrew Shotland of LocalSEOGuide.com will work with Williams as associate program director. Shotland is a highly respected social and local SEO expert, whose experience includes heading up online initiatives in directional media and cable television organizations.

SLM coverage will center on the following key themes: 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 are utilizing social channels. To learn more about the Social Local Media advisory service, visit http://www.biakelsey.com/Advisory-Services/Social-Local-Media, or contact Steve Passwaiter at (703) 802-2973 or spasswaiter@bia.com.

As part of this week’s launch of the SLM advisory service, BIA/Kelsey will host a free webinar at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Feb. 24, titled, “Social and Local: The New Killer Platform.” In this session BIA/Kelsey analysts will examine how the social local landscape is evolving. For webinar details and online registration, go to http://www.biakelsey.com/Events/Webinars. Social local media will also be a focus area of the firm’s upcoming Interactive Local Media East conference, March 21-23, where top innovators from leading social companies will be attending.

About Local Commerce Monitor

Local Commerce Monitor is BIA/Kelsey’s annual tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses, conducted since 1999 with research partner ConStat. The survey measures where SMBs are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving. Local Commerce Monitor draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, which include first- and second-tier markets. Local Commerce Monitor Wave XIV was conducted in November 2010 via an online survey of 307 SMBs.

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research, Continuous Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey’s annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at www.biakelsey.com, on the company’s blogs at www.biakelsey.com/blogs, Twitter (http://twitter.com/BIAKelsey and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/biakelsey.)

For more information contact:

Eileen Pacheco
For BIA/Kelsey
(781) 556-1026 |
eileen@tango-group.com

Robert Udowitz
For BIA/Kelsey
(703) 621-8060
rudowitz@bia.com

Press Relations

Interview requests, media inquiries, conference press passes, please contact:

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MacKenzie Lovings

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