A new survey of U.S. small business owners confirms what I’ve thought to be true: Social media is growing as a marketing tool. The “FedEx Office Signs of the Times Small Business Survey” polled 500 small biz owners across the country in early April. When asked how they plan to grow their businesses in 2010, social media was one of the few methods that gained when compared to the 2009 survey. Have a look:
Apologies for the image being so small; it’s how the survey was presented. If that’s a bit hard to read, it shows that 36% of respondents listed social media in their plans for business growth in 2010, compared to 24% in 2009. More small biz owners listed “create or improve your company’s web site” or “increase communication with existing or potential customers” as planned tactics for 2010, but both of those were down slightly from a year ago.
The survey asked a number of questions (as you’d expect) about the value of printed marketing tools … it’s what FedEx offers to business customers, after all. And, in fact, one of the questions asked what form of marketing is more effective: 61% said “traditional marketing and advertising” was more effective; the other 39% said “web-based marketing and advertising” was more effective.
That may not sound too promising, but it falls in line with some of the widely reported numbers that suggest no more than 50% of small businesses even have a web site.