More marketers use social networking to reach customers!

New story in USAToday reporting more marketers are using social media to reach customers.

In April, Ford tapped 100 top bloggers and gave them a Fiesta for six months. The catch: Once a month, they’re required to upload a video on YouTube about the car, and they’re encouraged to talk — no holds barred — about the Fiesta on their blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Forrester Research reports a survey of 1,217 business decision makers worldwide late last year found 95% use social networks. And 53% of more than 300 marketers planned to increase social-media marketing spending this year.

More than 300,000 businesses — one-third of them small businesses — have a presence on Facebook. Twitter has about 40 million users who each day produce a staggering amount of tweets.

National pizza chain Papa John’s added 148,000 fans on Nov. 17 through a guerrilla marketing campaign on Facebook. It offered a free medium pizza to anyone who signed up to be its fan on Facebook. The promotion gained it thousands of customers and drove its Web traffic up 253%.

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