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How Small Businesses Leaders Use Social Media

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Small business decision-makers who use social media say they do so because of the convenience and speed with which they can access business-relevant information, according to a study by Business.com. In addition, those leaders who rely on social media for business purposes use on average 5.9 different social media resources.

The study found that among small business decision-makers who use social media for business information:

  • 67% access webinar or podcast information.
  • 63% use ratings and reviews of business products and services.
  • 61% visit company profile pages on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Below, additional study findings issued by Business.com.

Top Social Media Resources by Industry

Among small-business leaders in the 12 industries surveyed, the use of social media to find business information varies considerably, with leaders from the following three industries using a significantly greater number of social media sites:

  • Internet & Online: 8.5 sites
  • Advertising & Marketing:  8.3 sites
  • Computers & Software: 7.0 sites

In contrast, small business leaders from the industries below use the fewest number of social media sites:

  • Healthcare: 5.3 sites
  • Retail: 5.2 sites
  • Legal: 4.8 sites


Looking for real data that can help you match social media tools and tactics to your marketing goals? The State of Social Media Marketing, an original research report from MarketingProfs, gives you the inside scoop on how more than 5,000 marketing pros are using social media to create winning campaigns, measure ROI, and reach audiences in new and exciting ways.


B2B versus B2C

B2B small business decision-makers are more active users of social media than their B2C counterparts and use on average 7.2 different social media resources for business information, compared with 5.5 for their B2C colleagues.

Small business leaders from companies with mixed revenue (no more than two-thirds of revenue from sales to either consumers or businesses) use on average 6.1 different resources.

Social Media Opportunities by Industry

Overall, the use of social media resources among small business leaders increases with business experience in social media: Leaders in all industries with 3-6 years of social media business experience visit on average 7.0 sites, those with 1-2 years of experience visit 6.8 sites, and those with less than one year of experience visit 5.4 sites.

The overall trend is more significant when viewing the experience base of survey participants by industry.

For example, retail leaders use significantly fewer social media resources than other industries, previously noted as 5.2 sites. In addition, 45% of respondents within retail have less than one year of experience with business social media initiatives.

It is likely, the study concludes, that as social media business experience levels increase within the retail sector, an increase in the use of social media should follow.

About the data: Conducted by Business.com, "Engaging Small Business Decision Makers Through Social Media" is based on survey results from 1,711 small company (<100 employees) participants in a middle management (director, department head, supervisor) or above role. 


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  • by Dave Hale Wed Dec 16, 2009 via web

    I have the business.com report right here on my desk. Very interesting read for anyone working in the social media business. A must read for anyone in business today. If you are not using social media to attract and keep your clients informed, you will be. The time is NOW!

    Dr. Dave Hale
    The Internet Marketing Professor

  • by Ben Hanna Tue Dec 22, 2009 via web

    Thanks, Dr. Hale, glad you liked the report.

    For everyone else, the full "Engaging Small Business Decision Makers Through Social Media" report can be downloaded from http://www.business.com/info/engaging-small-business-through-social-media.

    B2B marketers may also want to check out our the broader "2009 B2B Social Media Benchmarking Study" at http://www.business.com/info/b2b-social-media-benchmark-study.

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