Our staff endeavors to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the social media world. One of our most important tools is our own research and the findings of other respected surveys and polls. With our sophisticated monitoring software we know on a continuing basis the statistics evolving for each of our client campaigns. One of the most important things we’ve learned is that the role of social media for small businesses in increasing exponentially. We know this from our own records & now there’s a study out from the “Small Business Success Index” (SBSI) that further reinforces this fact.
The most important statistic to jump out from the report is “social media adoption among small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in just the last year.” In this case the word “adoption” means actively using social media on a daily or weekly basis and being fully engaged in the effort not just putting up an unattended FB page or tweeting occasionally, or having a years old Linkedin account that’s never used. The fact that nearly one fourth of the small businesses in this country are actively engages is quite a startling figure when you consider how many millions of small businesses there are.
Here are some of the other findings:
Small business owners use social media to attract new customers:
- 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
- 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
- 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
- 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months
These are all great statistics but perhaps the most important is that 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months. This relates directly to ROI and active social media engagement has definitely been shown in several surveys to directly contribute to the bottom line. Isn’t that why we’re all in business after all? Taken together the above statistics reflect a positive upward trend in the use and effectiveness of social media. That’s good news for all those who have taken the time and made the effort to engage at a high level through their own staff or hiring a professional social media firm to handle this important marketing tool.
In the interest of fair reporting, there are some aspects of the survey that shows there is still work to be done by all of us that make our living in the social media fields.
Small business owners still have concerns with social media:
- 50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected
- 17% express that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet
- However, only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it
The study is sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University Of Maryland Smith School Of Business.
Addressing the negative that 50% of small business users think that it takes more time than expected, our company stresses that a SM campaign is a long range commitment, not just an overnight promotion. Unrealistic expectations are most likely the reason this 50% figure is as high as it is. It’s our job as professionals to make certain our clients are presented with a carefully laid out and structured program that will produce, in the least amount of time, without undue expectations of an immediate and unrealistic bonanza.
We at Socially Buzzing prepare each and every campaign with the same care and structure for all clients, large or small. Our results speak for themselves and we stand ready to audit your SM program and layout a custom designed program specifically for your brand and goals.