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Nearly two-thirds of small businesses (66%) are spending more time on social media marketing in 2012 than they did last year, according to a survey from VerticalResponse.

In addition, the proportion of small businesses that have increased their social media budgets in 2012 is 4 times higher than the proportion of those that have decreased social budgets, the study found.

Below, additional findings from VerticalResponse.

Among the small businesses surveyed, a plurality (43%) dedicate six or more hours per week to social media marketing, 25% spend 6-10 hours per week, and 7% spend 20+ hours a week on social marketing.

Among CEOs and business owners surveyed (43% of respondents met that criteria), more than one-third (36%) spend 6+ hours on social media marketing, but nearly the same proportion (33%) would rather spend less time doing so.

One reason may be a lack of clear value: Only 36% pay for some type of analytical or scheduling tool for social marketing. Among those 36%, most (57.5%) spend $26+ per month on their tool.

Top Channels

Among the small businesses surveyed:

  • 90% use Facebook, and 15% do so several times a day.
  • 70% use Twitter, and 21% do so several times a day.
  • 50% use LinkedIn, and 4% check in several times a day. 

Roughly 3 in 10 small businesses use Google+ (31%) and Pinterest (28%).

Blogging

Small businesses understand the value of content, but time is an issue: 55% publish a blog, and among them 42% publish content 2-4 times each month. However, finding content to share is the most time-consuming social media task:

About the data: Findings are based on an online survey of 462 small businesses (93% had fewer than 100 employees), Sept 17 to Oct 5, 2012. Some 43% were owners or sole proprietors of their business.

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