Social media and small businesses (statistics)

Social Media Adoption By U.S. Small Businesses Doubles Since 2009

Small Businesses Mainly Use Social Media to Identify and Attract New Customers (Press Release)

Herndon, VA – Feb 16, 2010 – American small businesses are pushing the limits on new ways to improve efficiency in the prolonged downturn, including a steady increase in social media adoption. The third wave of the Small Business Success Index™ (SBSI), sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, reports social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year.

The SBSI found that nearly one out of five small business owners are actively using social media in their business. Small businesses are increasingly investing in social media applications including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.


Key social media usage highlights include:

  • 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

“In order to meet the growing challenges of a tough market last year, I was forced to consider alternative options to keep my business visible,” says small business owner Dr. Alan Glazier, CEO and Founder, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care. “With a very small investment in social media marketing, I was able to generate new business opportunities. Our Google ranking is consistently number one for many of the phrases people use to search for eye doctors in and around my city and we have received a “bump” in terms of new visitors to the site. My blog has been picked up by different news sources and led to media interviews. I am now recognized as a thought leader in social networking within my profession and lastly but most importantly, my marketing budget has been reduced by more than 80%.”

Customer Engagement Biggest Social Media Usage:  61% of the respondents use social media to identify new customers

The biggest expectation small business owners have from social media is expanding external marketing and engagement, including

  • identifying and attracting new customers,
  • building brand awareness, and
  • staying engaged with customers.

Top Small Business Concerns with Social Media: 50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected

While social media adoption has doubled in the last year, there are still some roadblocks to small businesses fully exploiting its potential. A main concern is the amount of time involved. Another 17% express that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet. Related to this, only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it.


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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on March 15, 2010, in small business marketing tips, Social Media Tips, Video. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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