Social Media and Small Business: New Trends

Thanks to Constant Contact, we have some good information on what small business owners use and value, in terms of marketing approaches.

According to a recent survey, nearly all small business owners (95%) have a website and use email marketing (91%).  The majority of small business owners are using social media (73%) and almost half are using blogs (43%).

Think the quarter of small businesses who are not using social media are missing an opportunity?  Don’t worry; more than half of those respondents (62%) plan to jump on the social media bandwagon within a year.

Facebook is the number one search term on the web, so it may come as no surprise to you that Facebook was found to be the clear winner among the social media options small businesses choose; 95% of small business owners who use social media use Facebook.  What is interesting is that represents a leap of 44% since about this time last year.

Also compelling to note is that while 60% of small business owners who use social media are on Twitter and LinkedIn, those platforms were seen as effective by less than half of these users (47%).  On the other hand, while less than half of social media users are on YouTube, nearly 3/4 (73%) of them thought YouTube was an effective way to market to their customers.

I feel this reinforces what I have been saying about the power of online video — it will differentiate the small business, it will achieve SEO benefits, and although it involves more effort, it does work.

Surprising to me was the result that 69% of respondents said they use online advertising.  Also reassuring for our newspapers was the finding that 77% of small businesses are using print advertising.

When asked which tactics were very effective or moderately effective, the ranking looks like this:

1. Email marketing was ranked as most effective among the options.  It is the first choice small business owners make when connecting with customers.

2. Websites came in as a close second.

3. Online advertising — surprise, surprise!

4. Social media.  Also most of the respondents who are currently using social media (81%) plan to increase using it, demonstrating that small business owners see real potential in social media as a marketing tactic.

5. Blogs.  The marketing power of blogs continue to be underestimated, although their SEO power is matched, perhaps, only by YouTube video.

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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 May 25, 2011, in Email Marketing Tips, Marketing Tips, small business marketing tips, Social Media Tips, Statistics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. social media is so helpful for small business… nice illustrate here.

  2. Great list! These tactics are definetly beginning to make a difference in alot of small businesses and I have seen first hand the amount of owners or managers beginning to create some sort of social media presence. Its picking up very fast and those left out will be left behind.

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