B2B research and reviews firm Clutch has released some interesting data-driven findings from their Social Media for Small Business: 2017 Survey. The firm surveyed 350 small business owners/managers across the United States to determine digital marketing habits and goals for 2017. Respondents included 40% of companies with 10 or fewer employees, 27% with 11-50 employees, 25% with 51-250 employees, and 8% with 251-500 employees. The survey found that:
- 24% of small businesses have not used social media for their business
- Over 90% of small businesses using social media are on Facebook
- Over 50% plan to increase investment in Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in 2017
- 41% share content, engage with followers multiple times a day
- Audience growth and clicks to website are most popular metrics for small businesses
- Over 50% rely on in-house staff for social media marketing
Some of these findings might not be a surprise...especially the first two listed above. We all know someone whose small business isn't exactly keen on the whole social media, Facebook concept. And it's without question that many small businesses have a Facebook account that's more of a placeholder than an active component of their revenue building. But what can be pulled and analyzed from these findings should be noted by all SMBs.
Clutch has accurately determined that there are three key reasons why small businesses need social media: its cost effectiveness, growing popularity, and ability to target customers.
Joshua Dirks, co-founder and CEO of Project Bionic, a Seattle-based creative marketing agency points out that "An active social media presence has the potential to drastically improve your marketing abilities at a much lower cost than traditional media". And in what is a extremely profound point: "Many [small business owners] read the headlines from five to six years ago about ‘likes’ not mattering and bought into that. They are missing out because of their own viewpoint on the topic, [made] from believing five- to six-year-old headlines and not recapturing the maturation of the space”. That right there should make any owner or manager want to reconsider social media marketing as part of their business.
Another fact that is missing from the mindset of a lot of SMB owners/managers is the readily available data in social media that can easily boost a business' marketing and sales. “Social is one of the few forms that allows you to look at the data,” said Keith Kakadia, Founder and CEO of Sociallyin, a Mississippi-based social media agency. “It allows you to determine whether there’s a return on investment (ROI) for the money spent. When you have a small budget, every single dollar needs to be spent on what works”.
The Clutch analysis goes on with some extremely valuable recommendations and takeaways from the study that are well worth considering. In summary, SMBs that aren't using social media, or aren't using it effectively, need to change that because the marketing and sales opportunities are undeniable there.