What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a featured writer with the WebProNews.com team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Chris writes for Small Business Resources about social media, search, and what’s new for small business. Hundreds of publications link to Chris’ articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

Study Finds Small Businesses Getting Better at Social Media

Study Finds Small Businesses Getting Better at Social Media

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions has released some interesting findings from a study on how small businesses use social media. According to the study, 81% of SMBs use social media for their business. The rest are considered future users.

The top marketing reasons businesses are using it are to maintain a company presence/identity, generate word-of-mouth, deliver content/new info about the company, advertise for awareness, and advertise to generate new leads. 61% off them find social media useful in gaining new customers.

The study discovered a strong correlation between increased social media spend and “hyper growth”. Most are growing, but one in six are in “hyper growth” mode, which means they’ve seen a significant increase in revenue year-over-year. 73% of those experiencing hyper growth reported increased social media spend, while only 42% of those reporting non-growth did.

90% of those in hyper growth said social media is effective for maintaining a company presence/ID. 88% said it’s effective for generating word-of-mouth. 89% said it’s effective for delivering content/info about their companies, and 82% said it’s effective for advertising to generate new leads.

Among those using social media, 94% are doing so for marketing, but that’s not all. About half of small businesses are also using social media for learning and delivering business insights.

As far as learning goes, the top reasons businesses are using social media are accessing a network of peers to ask questions, learning from experts in their industries, obtaining insight/best practices and finding info and opinions to answer questions.

Among businesses using social media for both discovery (gathering info/staying up to date) and consideration (seeking advice/info to make purchases), almost all (93%) are driven to action, whether it be learning, discussing or purchasing. About two in five are driven to purchase.

While obviously the study’s presenter is biased, it found that SMBs are most receptive to LinkedIn (57%) compared to Google+ (49%), Facebook (47%), Twitter (47%), Pinterest (45%) and Yelp (38%).

What’s surprising is that both LinkedIn and Google+ come out ahead of Facebook and Twitter, which are typically thought of as the two big social media players. It goes to show that niche matters when it comes to social networks. The LinkedIn business niche is obvious, but Google+ clearly has strong advantages for business with its connection to businesses through local listings and pretty much every other Google product.


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