Facebook, LinkedIn More Popular Among SMBs Than Twitter, Survey Says

Filed in Social Media, Statistics by Matt McGee on May 20, 2011 8 Comments

There are some interesting numbers about small businesses and social media usage in the latest Small Business Happiness Index from VistaPrint. And it’s actually “micro-businesses” that we’re talking about here — those with 10 or fewer employees.

According to VistaPrint’s survey of about 1,200 microbusinesses, 65% of them are currently using social media. Of that group:

  • 49% say Facebook is their primary social media marketing platform
  • 7% identify LinkedIn as their main social media platform
  • less than 3% say Twitter is their primary social media marketing outlet

Not surprised at all about the Facebook stat. Somewhat surprised to see LinkedIn ahead of Twitter, however. This suggests that Twitter still has a lot of work to do when it comes to educating small business owners — something it’s been focusing on with things like its Twitter for Business mini-site.

Comments (8)

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  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for the info. Definitely surprising LinkedIn more widely accepted amongst SMBs than Twitter. But why?

    Does LinkedIn really communicate their small biz benefits better than Twitter?

    It’s up to the marketers to educate the SMBs as to how Twitter can deliver ROI and drive sales.

  2. Naomi says:

    I’m not surprised about this information. For me, LinkedIn and Facebook are slightly more user-friendly. It’s easier for me in my business to see the direct connection between my activities on LinkedIn and Facebook to increases in traffic to my business, for example. While I do use Twitter, I haven’t seen the direct benefits (yet).

  3. Eric Rogers says:

    I can definately see Facebook as the more popular social media choice. I know I have found the character limitation of twitter to be hard to swallow. I tend to have an aversion to spammy content so I naturally try for something more “meaty” in my postings. It just feels too “spammy” to me to post a bunch of 140-character snippits. I’ve also found it harder to convert clients into followers on Twitter than on Facebook.

    • Matt McGee says:

      I think there’s more of a learning curve with Twitter and maybe even more of an art to using it successfully. The bigger issue is just that the entire world is on Facebook, and Twitter is far behind in usage. So it makes sense that SMBs would flock to Facebook first.

  4. Jose Jimenez says:

    I’m a little surprised at the results but at the same time I’m not, if that makes sense. Twitter is a great marketing tool but many small businesses lose interest when they don’t see much of a return which is usually as a result of approaching it the wrong way. LinkedIn on the other hand allows for deeper engagement and the groups can be really useful for new business opportunities as well as discussing all manner of topics.

  5. Alan Needham says:

    I’m not really surprised by this. Facebook and LinkedIn put a lot more focus on user profiles. You have a lot more information about who you are connected with which makes you feel more of a connection. While Twitter can be a great tool, it has a more superficial feel to it. Limited profile information means that the emotional connection must be built 140 characters at a time.

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