Social Media Is The GO-TO For Small Business Marketers

Posted on Tuesday, September 1 in Making Your Marketing Work.

by Jack Loechner @mp_research, June 18, 2015, 4:33 PM  

Social Media Examiner’s seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, a survey of 3,720 marketers, business owners and solopreneurs from the U.S. and overseas, reveals some social media trends gaining momentum, as well as some surprising stalls, writes Suzanne Delzio.

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.”

93% of respondents use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%. In the coming year, 62% of respondents plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing purposes. 66% will increase Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn activity. 71% of businesses with 100+ employees use YouTube, compared to 38% of the self-employed.

B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking because B2B businesses are looking for the marketing people, facilities managers, buyers and others who rely on LinkedIn for industry connections and news.

B2C companies, on the other hand, go to Facebook first and in larger numbers, as Facebook is comprised of nearly every consumer on the planet.

Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business, the majority of small businesses either don’t know if Facebook achieves the goals they’ve set, or it does not achieve those goals. Despite the high numbers using Facebook, just one in three self-employed respondents characterize Facebook efforts as “effective.”

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. 33% of study respondents report that they devote 1 to 5 hours weekly to social media marketing; however, 25% spend 6 to 10 hours each week.

51% of businesses with 10 or fewer employees, who spend 6 hours or more on social media marketing, still believe that it reduces overall marketing expenses.

Even though “increased exposure” is more difficult to measure than traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.

77% of the survey respondents consider the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral a significant benefit. And, social media bringing additional traffic to respondents’ websites increases year after year, from 61% of those using it less than 1 year to 82% calling it effective after 5 years.

Once a small business determines which channel drives the most valuable (and intentional) traffic, the next step is to provide the content to engage that traffic.

Despite the easy digestibility of video and visuals, marketers pinpointed blogging as their most important type of content. Consumers now research their purchases thoroughly before buying, and the blog provides more extensive information than the quick image or one minute teaser video, says the report

For a free copy of the 2015 Social Media Industry Report from Social Examiner, please visit here.

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