||Besides Facebook, Small Business 'Likes' LinkedIn and Twitter
According to recent data from Constant Contact, small businesses are increasingly seeing the value of social media platforms across the board, and, in particular, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Eighty percent of respondents surveyed in December 2012 said they conduct social media marketing and, when asked which social media platform was the most effective for their organization, the always-dominant Facebook won out at 82%.
More notable was the fact that 29% said LinkedIn was effective for their business, an increase of 19 percentage points compared to a similar Constant Contact Small Business survey last spring, and 25% said Twitter, a rise of 18 percentage points from last spring.
Mark Schmulen, general manager, social media, Constant Contact, says "...while Facebook remains the dominant platform, small businesses...expanding their engagement to reach audiences across multiple networks...another positive step in the social media adoption curve for SMBs."
While small business interest in social media is on the rise, small business owners continue to lack confidence in their social media skills. Fifty-four percent chose social media marketing as the marketing activity they need the most help with. Only 13% of survey respondents post to Twitter daily and 10% post weekly to LinkedIn.
Schmulen commented that "...social media marketing is a relatively new practice for most small businesses...the majority of small businesses are 'experimenting' with social...(but) have learned that social media marketing requires a commitment to engaging their audience on a consistent basis..."
Small business year-end revenue reports did not match their mid-year 2012 optimism, says the report, showing year-end revenues vs. predictions. Hiring, however, stayed in line with mid-year predictions. Sixty-six percent of small businesses said they were not planning to hire, and 62% reported in December 2012 that employee levels stayed the same.
This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in December 2012 to 1,100 participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council, a research panel of US small businesses and nonprofits. Results include responses from a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries.
(Source: eMarketer, 04/04/13)