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
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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.