Eventility has released a timely infographic (below) that serves to remind small, local businesses that social media is, fundamentally, designed for them.

Twitter and Facebook have spent recent years actively courting big business – Facebook is encouraging businesses to pay to promote their content and Twitter recently upped the cost of promoted trends to $200k per-day. When it comes to advertising, smaller companies are missing out.

Yet the fact remains: 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. There is now a wide range of cheap or free marketing channels that can help small businesses stand out. It’s a huge missed opportunity that so many aren’t taking advantage of the way SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) is revolutionising digital marketing. Google+ Local is a prime example of such as service. It’s free, increases visibility in searches, boosts engagement and its importance is rapidly increasing as Google pushes into mobile. 40% of mobile searches have “local intent” and 73% of smart phone users access Google Maps. Despite these stats, only 44% of small businesses use Google+.

Perhaps small businesses are underestimating the role social platforms play in purchase decisions. This is particularly true of Generation Y, where 61% will consult social networks to decide where to go when going out. Consumers are also becoming more trusting of online reviews. 72% trust them as much as personal recommendations and 52% said that positive reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

What’s more encouraging are the results being seen by local businesses that are actively using social. Research suggests that 78% of them gain a quarter of their new customers through social media. It’s also encouraging to see that the number one reason small businesses use social media is to connect with their customers. Not only can this build customer loyalty, but interacting with brand advocates will also influence the purchase decisions of their personal connections. The ability of small business owners to tap into the personal networks of their customers is in all likelihood, the greatest untapped marketing opportunity in existence.

So much of marketing is the preserve of major brands, but the infographic below highlights the range of channels that are opening up to small businesses – and how they can be combined together to good effect. With a little training, some planning and a dose of creativity, a small business could run a high-value, multi-channel campaign that mirrors the sophistication of the big players in their industry. Hopefully this infographic will help spread that message to those who need to hear it.