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The State of Small Business and Social Media

Most Small Businesses Are Sinking Their Teeth into Social Media; Others Lag Behind

Our Spring Small Business Report, shows the majority of small business owners surveyed are investing more time and money into social media marketing efforts. We wanted perspective on how SMB’s use social media, and if their investments produced worthwhile results. We asked a sampling of business owners in a variety of industries how their strategies and investment channels affected revenue.

When asked if they incorporated social media at all, the numbers were clearly still divided, but the majority of those using social media actually do invest money. The data also told a story of how frequently they are posting.

A small percentage of those surveyed really embrace a consistent schedule, posting more than three times daily. However, 48% are only posting once a week. This is surprisingly low considering how closely tied social media is to the buying decision process these days. Posting once a week isn’t necessarily consistent enough to gain a meaningful amount of exposure. On the other hand, a decent percentage of those participating in social media (32%) post once a day, illustrating that SMB’s are catching onto the value of implementing it into their business strategy on a regular basis.

So, what gives with the others who never log in to boost business?

When asked why they didn’t use social media, most (67%) said it was a waste of time, while a small number (12%) admittedly didn’t understand how it all works. These stats aren’t all that surprising as historically, SMB’s have struggled to leverage social media channels and just aren’t sure it’s worth the effort, investment and time.  For most owners, there aren’t enough hours in the day and spending precious time trying to understand DIY marketing tactics will inevitably end up last on the to-do list.

Interestingly though, the majority of those who are using social media (66%) are also investing dollars in paid advertising/paid posts. Most of those using social media (80%) preferred to run their own accounts and content as opposed to the 20% who would rather leave it to the professionals.

That 20% who want to outsource to experts isn’t an overwhelming statistic, but it does indicate that SMB’s are increasingly owning their online presence and willing to invest more in their approach to social media marketing efforts.

It’s also reflected in trends from our previous reports. Our Summer 2017 Small Business Report, revealed marketing was cited as a top challenge SMB’s faced. Our Fall 2017 Small Business Report showed marketing as a top area of investment within the next six months, so we see a clear trend here. SMB’s are taking on marketing challenges and stepping up their social media game.

Those investments are working. Over half who spent money on advertising or paid posts on social media reported increased revenue. Here’s the breakdown of how much they spend monthly:

  • 79% $300 or less a month
  • 12% between $400 – $600 a month
  • 6% between $700 – $1,000 a month
  • 3% over $ 1,000

Should small business owners invest in a social media strategy? Absolutely. Marketing doesn’t come easily to small businesses, and we understand the struggle. Not sure where to start? Check out our post on Delivering a Return on Your Small Business Marketing Investment. We asked several experts in the field how to approach marketing as a small business just starting out.

Marketing is one of the most powerful investments for a business owner. Whether you choose to go it alone, build on what you have in place or consult a professional opinion, we are here for you for any working capital needs.  We hope this post serves as a useful resource and wish you success as you navigate your small business social media marketing strategy.

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