Almost nine out of 10 small business reps say social media has been helpful to their business, but other stats in the same survey lead me to think that number could be even higher.
The numbers come from a recent Vocus/Duct Tape Marketing survey of 400 decision makers at small- and medium-sized business and organizations. This wasn’t uber-small mom and pops, it was organizations with annual revenues between $5 million and $50 million (USD). The survey was conducted from July 18th to July 28th.
In the survey, 29 percent said social media “helped a great deal” and 58 percent said it “helped somewhat” — that’s the 87 percent total. Ten percent said social media had no effect on their business.
But here’s why I think that 87 percent figure could be even higher: The vast majority of respondents are using social media to pump out self-promotional updates about their company, products and services … while less than half are using social media to provide customer service.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with sharing news about your business, that’s part of why we’re all using social networks. But you’re not very followable if that’s all you do. And a lot of SMBs tend to underrate the value of doing customer service via social media.
I wrote last year about a survey of Twitter complainers, and you may remember that 83 percent liked or loved being contacted after they complained! A simple reply via social media can work wonders. That’s why I think the 87 percent number could be higher — social media could be helpful to even more SMBs if they valued it for customer service reasons, not just sales/promotional reasons.
One other stat — or bunch of stats — from the survey. This chart shows which social networks SMBs are using the most.
Not much surprising in there, I’d say. Well, the usage of Google+ (44 percent) is a bit surprising, I guess. Interesting to see Pinterest at the 20 percent level, too.
Anything surprise you in these stats? Or any thoughts on the promotion vs. customer service issue above? Comments are open.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)