Three in five surveyed said social media was a “necessary evil,” but nearly half still considered it the best way to reach customers right now.
“Local businesses are very practical when it comes to advertising,” CEO Gordon Borrell said. “They cannot afford to be political with their messaging. They need ROI on every dollar they spend, and they need a friend in media to help them figure out what to say.”
Respondents said they have seen more website traffic (42%) and have been posting content more consistently (40%) since the start of the pandemic. They have also created more video and graphic elements (28%) and posted more live videos on their channels (24%).
One in five surveyed said they have increased their social media spending and more than half of those funded that increase by cutting print, radio, TV and event marketing. Borrell said traditional platforms like print can still play a vital role for advertisers, however.
“Newspapers are communication experts and local businesses need their help communicating with the public,” he said. “It’s not just helping design a print ad anymore. It’s helping with the overall message, especially in social media. That’s the opportunity for newspapers.”