More Small Businesses Using Social Media

Filed in Social Media, Statistics by Matt McGee on February 24, 2010 6 Comments

MIssed this when it came out a week or so ago, but it’s worth posting about after the fact a bit. The Small Business Success Index reports that social media adoption among small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the past year. From reading the release, I gather that “adoption” means a business is actively using social media, as opposed to just having a placeholder profile page.

Here are some of the other findings:

Small business owners use social media to attract new customers:

  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months

Small business owners still have concerns with social media:

  • 50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected
  • 17% express that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet
  • Only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it

The study is sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.

Comments (6)

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  1. I missed this one too. Thanks for pointing it out.

    As a small business owner (well, I aspire to be considered ‘small’, I’m more of a Micro Company) a number of these observations ring true. Especially the 50% who say social media takes more time than expected.

    I would also say one thing to my cohorts in small business: social media needs to be a part of your marketing plan, not the entire plan. I have seen some people cash in all of their efforts to concentrate exclusively on social media. [I will point out they did this without any experience in social media, they just knew it was free.] This really isn’t recommended.

  2. Hi Matt! I am Shashi Bellamkonda from Network Solutions. Thanks for sharing the social media results of the Small Business Success Index Wave 3 with your readers. I also invite you and your readers to take the Small Business Success Index survey. Let us know where you stand!

  3. Ross says:

    I als missed this earlier in the week so thanks for sharing it.

    @Greg – I completely agree with you. I’ve worked with several small businesses and a lot of them say they just don’t have the time for it. I think that business owners have to start making time for it because its just like a 24 networking event. There is always opportunities just waiting for people to pounce upon. With that said however, we must not forget the traditional methods for promotion. Its as simple as – “Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket” – Great points Greg.

  4. Steve says:

    I think social media may make sense for bigger companies, but not small businesses. Social media takes a great deal of time and effort. What small business owner has time to do that? It’s a full-time job just to maintain all your social media accounts.

  5. @Ross – You are right, we should make room in our schedules for social media. I, for one, have.

    @Steve – If your business can prosper without social media, more power to you; then there is no need for you to spend valuable time on it. My business, though, completely depends on the internet and word of mouth (aka social media) to get new customers. And with search engines digging deeper and deeper into social media, it is more important than ever for me make the time to use it.

  6. Chris Cobb says:

    I think we will continue to see these numbers grow among small business as the offline consulting business grows.

    I know in my circle of Internet marketing colleagues, offline consulting is becoming a bigger part of their business and of course, understanding the power of social media, they are getting their new small business clients involved right away.

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