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#1: Social Media Critical for Small Business

First, 96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, “Social media marketing is important for my business.” Keep in mind that participants self-selected from a pool of over 300,000, and therefore are probably more interested in social media marketing than people who did not respond.

#2: Facebook Dominates Small Business Social Media Marketing

The majority of respondents carry out social media marketing on Facebook. The chart below shows that 93% use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%. In the coming year, 62% of respondents plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing purposes. Sixty-six percent will increase Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn activity.

#3: B2B Small Businesses Use Social Differently Than B2C

Breaking down Social Media Marketing Industry Report averages is useful. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking.

B2C companies, on the other hand, go to Facebook first and in larger numbers. This makes sense because B2B businesses are looking for the marketing people, facilities managers, buyers and others who rely on LinkedIn for industry connections and news. Facebook is comprised of nearly every consumer on the planet.

#4: Most Small Business Marketers Don’t Know if Facebook Efforts Are Working

Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business AND that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook outreach is “working.”

“Working” may mean building brand awareness and relationships with customers. It could also mean bringing in more leads and sales. The bottom line is that the majority of small businesses either don’t know if Facebook achieves the goals they’ve set or it does NOT achieve those goals. It could also mean they have no goals or they haven’t bothered to measure their progress toward goals. Shockingly, despite the high numbers using Facebook, just one in three self-employed respondents characterize Facebook efforts as “effective.”

#6: Most Small Businesses Spend 6 Hours or More Weekly on Social Media

Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time. These figures give small business owners and marketers a clear idea of the time competitors are investing.

#7: Small Businesses Identify Increased Exposure as Social’s Top Benefit

Even though “increased exposure” is more difficult to measure than a metric like traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.

#8: Increased Traffic to Website Is Number-Two Benefit of Social Marketing

The chart above indicates that 77% of the survey’s nearly 4,000 respondents have appreciated the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral (clicking from Facebook or LinkedIn to the website for a blog post or landing page offer). Google Analytics and other tools make getting this data possible, even easy.

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