Over half (55 per cent) of small company owners believe that social networking sites have a place in the business world, a study by SurePayroll has found.

According to the research, one in five of the owners had already obtained trade as a result of using the social media, which includes websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

David Rohrer, SurePayroll’s online marketing manager, said that social networking has risen in popularity with small businesses, as the advertising is a cheap and effective way to connect with customers.

He added: "It is no longer just an outlet for personal use – it’s rapidly becoming a must for business success … What’s so great about the online world is you don’t need a million-dollar marketing budget."

SurePayroll’s research also found that over a 50 million people on Facebook did not attend college and so suggests that internet marketing on such sites requires a knowledge of the audience concerned.

The news comes as MySpace launches a new online marketing service, MyAds beta, which will allow businesses to advertise on the site.

According to the social network’s website, users will be able to create the advert, target the suitable audience, choose the budget and then monitor the progress.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.

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