Interested in seeing how small businesses use social media to generate sales? Curious about which social media platforms are working well for small firms?
For its seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner surveyed 3,720 marketers, business owners, and solopreneurs from the United States and overseas, to uncover various trends. Here are 12 of the most important trends:
- Social Media Critical for Small Business — “96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, ‘Social media marketing is important for my business.'”
- Facebook Dominates Small Business Social Media Marketing — “The majority of respondents carry out social media marketing on Facebook. 93% use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%.”
- B2B Small Businesses Use Social Differently Than B2C — “Breaking down Social Media Marketing Industry Report averages is useful. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking.”
- Most Small Business Marketers Don’t Know if Facebook Efforts Are Working — “Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business AND that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook outreach is ‘working.’”
- Small Businesses Plan to Expand Facebook Activities This Year — “The Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that, again, despite the cloudiness surrounding Facebook’s effectiveness, 62% plan to increase activities on it.”
- Most Small Businesses Spend 6 Hours or More Weekly on Social Media — “Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time.”
- Small Businesses Identify Increased Exposure as Social’s Top Benefit — “Even though ‘increased exposure’ is more difficult to measure than a metric like traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.”
- Increased Traffic to Website Is Number-Two Benefit of Social Marketing — “77% of the survey respondents have appreciated the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral (clicking from Facebook or LinkedIn to the website for a blog post or landing page offer). Google Analytics and other tools make getting this data possible, even easy.”
- Social Media Cuts Marketing Expenses for Small Businesses — “Early on, social media developed the reputation of reaching audiences at a low price.”
- Small Business Direct Social Sales Rise Over Time — “More than half of marketers who have been using social media for more than 2 years report their channels helped them improve sales. Seventy percent of those with a 5-year social media marketing investment report it helps improve sales.”
- Facebook Dominates Social Media Paid Ads — “The low cost associated with social media ads is just one aspect that appeals to small businesses. The ability to target ads to a narrow geographic (down to the zip code) and demographic market provides another.”
- Types of Social Media Content — “Blogging and visual assets nearly tied at 70% and 71% respectively. The self-employed depend on blogging, with 79% of that faction reporting they blog. At this time, just 10% of marketers use podcasting, but some speculate that podcasting could be an opportunity. Requiring higher budgets and more technology, video content finishes third.”
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