Despite much debate over the value of social networks to small business marketing, growing numbers of small business owners view social media as an effective tool, according to a survey from Constant Contact.
Surveyed small businesses report the biggest surge in the effectiveness of LinkedIn and Twitter, among the major social networks.
Overall, 8 in 10 (80%) small business owners say they conduct social media marketing, and among those who do...
- 82% say Facebook is effective for their business, up 7 percentage points (PPs) from the 75% who said so in May 2012.
- 29% say LinkedIn is effective, up 19 PPs from the 10% who said so in May.
- 25% say Twitter is effective, up 18 PPs from the 7% who said so in May.
- 15% say YouTube is effective, up 12 PPs from the 3% who said so in May.
Among small business owners, Pinterest (9%), Yelp (6%), and Google+ (5%) rank lower in business effectiveness.
Below, additional findings from Constant Contact’s small business survey, conducted in December 2012.
Social Media S.O.S.
Though small businesses view social tools as increasingly effective, they lack confidence in their skills: 54% cite social media marketing as the marketing task they most need help with.
That lack of confidence may explain their fairly low frequency of social media posts.
Only 13% of small business owners post to Twitter on a daily basis, while only 10% post weekly to LinkedIn:
Small business 2012 year-end revenue reports did not match their mid-year optimism:
- 38% say revenue increased more than 10% over the 2011 levels vs. 52% who projected that level of growth in May 2012.
- 21% reported revenue increased less than 10%, vs. 27% who forecast such growth as of May.
- 23% say revenue remained flat, vs. 13% who forecast no growth as of May.
- 8% say revenue decreased less than 10%, vs. 4% who forecast such declines as of May.
- 10% say revenue fell more than 10%, vs. 3% who projected those declines as of May.
About the data: Findings are based on a December 2012 survey of 1,100 participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council, a research panel of US small businesses and nonprofits recruited via the Constant Contact customer base. Results include responses from respondents across a range of B2B and B2C industries.