Small Business, Big Difference: Social Media Use on the Rise
July 29th, 2015 by
Clutch, a B2B research firm, has released the results of its 2015 survey on small business practices in social media. The survey, which received more than 350 submissions, asked small business owners or managers to give insight into their social media and Internet marketing practices.
Here are some highlights of the small businesses surveyed:
Small business digital marketing strategies
- 53% of small businesses use social media
- 45% of small businesses work on SEO
- 25% of small businesses use online advertising
- 60% of responding businesses have fewer than 10 employees
- 14% have between 11 to 50 employees
- 18% have between 51 and 250 employees
- 8% have over 251 employees
Investment (employee time, agency spend, ad spend)
- 38% expect to increase their investment
- 38% plan on keeping the same investment
- 16% plan to decrease investment
What Does This Mean?
It’s weird to think back to 2006, when Facebook was essentially just for high school and college students to interact with each other through basic status updates. Nine years later, Facebook has around 1.44 billion monthly active users, yet only 53% of businesses surveyed indicated they use social media. In today’s social media age, having an active social presence is one of the easiest and most inexpensive options available to small businesses. It’s free to create a business page on Facebook, Twitter, and the other myriad of social media pages. Additionally, with the abundance of users on these sites, your customer base and target audience is already available to you; you just need to bring them to your page.
Benefits of Social Media for Small Businesses
When customers shop at small businesses, they tend to value the qualities of these stores versus their big-box competitors. Having a question answered on a local bike shop’s Facebook page is usually easier than reaching out to a large retailer’s customer service team. Allowing customers to post to your business’ page also gives other viewers the ability to see reviews, photos, and that the business cares about its customers by maintaining an active social presence. Maintaining a strong social presence can work as a way to “warm up” your potential customers and introduce them to your brand for a relatively low initial cost.
Small Business Investment
Besides simple statistics, the survey discusses the necessary investment of small businesses to ensure that their social media strategy has the best chance to be successful. While it may seem that just having a profile is enough to effectively market your business, there is additional effort that should be taken if you want to see your desired results. Employees should have a hand in the content strategy and the day-to-day operations. Various opinions can help diversify your strategy and give additional insight into your broader customer base. By spreading the responsibilities of managing the page across a few employees, each individual’s workload should not be greatly affected, while the overall product will be of high quality. Wondering how you can make time for social media and continue to run your small business? Check out these social media tips for time-starved entrepreneurs.
In addition to diversifying where your content is coming from, it helps to vary the content you’re sharing with your followers. If you’re only talking to your current customers about products or direct business promotions, people new to your page may dismiss your content, as it doesn’t apply to them. Try to think outside of the box and delve into your potential customers’ other interests. By using this practice, your pages and posts can be beneficial in more ways than reminding customers of your weekly promotions. Writing about the best local bike trails may bring more people to your page through liking, sharing, and commenting, and it can help to organically get your store’s name into your community.
Seventy-six percent of the companies surveyed responded that they would either keep the same investment moving forward or increase it. Facebook and Twitter have shown over the past five to 10 years that the sites are not simply the most visited social media pages, but two of the most visited websites of any kind. When establishing your small business, it is important that your business could be found on Google. But in 2015, it is becoming important that your business be available on social media sites as well. Moving forward, each company should take the necessary time to see what resources can be used to begin a social media campaign. Start off by managing a page yourself, working your way up to reach an ideal social media campaign, and involving an overlap of employee involvement, agency guidance, and some use of social media advertising such as Facebook fan-building campaigns, for example, which have shown to have the best results for success with these small businesses.
To view the complete report, visit Clutch.