Due to the current state of the economy, many companies are now turning to more affordable methods of advertising their services as well as making sales. Small businesses have turned to social media and internet advertising because it is a cheaper alternative to traditional marketing methods. According to “The State of Small Business Report” from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland School of Business, the use of social media by small businesses has significantly increased to 24%, from 12% the year before.
The report also mentioned the most popular reasons for engaging in social media use. The leading answer was to provide their company a presence online for both their workers and their consumers, where the second most common answer was to update their statuses regarding the company and their products/services.
Here is a graph that shows the rest of the motives for using social media for small businesses:
It was also found that many businesses feel that social media use was not fulfilling their expectations; rather, social media’s capabilities for staying engaged with consumers and collaborating with other businesses were more in line with businesses’ expectations.
Also according to the report regarding small business and their social media use:
• Most small businesses say they are just breaking even with their current usage of social media, but a solid one-fifth find it profitable already.
• Nearly one-half believe it will make them money in the next 12 months, and another 39% think they will break even on it.
• Just 9% think social marketing will continue to be a losing proposition.
• Overall, 58% of respondents felt social media lived up to their expectations.
• One-half felt it took up more time than they realized, but only 6% claimed negative comments on social media had hurt their business.
A final statement was added about the report from Janet Wagner, director of the Center for Excellence in Service, who made a comment about how social media was letting small businesses become more competitive with larger competitors, “Social media levels the playing field for small businesses by helping them deliver customer service time spent on Twitter, Facebook and blogs is an investment in making it easier for small businesses to compete.”
Information Provided By: eMarketer
Blog Post Written By: Kent Seiders