Marketing: Small Businesses Benefit Most From Social Media

If you’re still on the fence about using social media for your business—or maybe you’ve experimented with it, but aren’t fully committed yet—some new research just might change your mind.  

The 2011 Social Media Marketing Report surveyed over 3,300 marketers, of which 47% were either self-employed or small business owners. A whopping 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that social media is important to their businesses, reports Social Media Examiner. However, the self-employed (67%) and small business owners (66%) were most likely to strongly agree with that view.  

While the vast majority of all respondents saw increased exposure, traffic and subscriptions resulting from social media, here are some areas where small businesses and the self-employed saw the biggest results:  

  • They were more likely to see new partnerships as a result of social media (59 percent).
  • They were twice as likely to get qualified leads using social media.
  • They were more likely to see improved sales from using social media (48 percent).
  • They were more likely to see reduced marketing costs from social media marketing. (58 percent).

There’s much more of interest in the study, but here are two points that I think are especially useful:

1)      Social media success takes time—but not as much as you think. Spending just six hours a week on social media was enough for 75 percent of marketers to see traffic increases. More time generated more results: Those who spent 6 hours or more on social media weekly were twice as likely to generate leads.

2)      Social media takes persistence. The results of social media are cumulative, generally starting to accrue after three years. Just 25 percent of those who were new to social media saw new partnerships form, compared to 80 percent of those using it for three years or more.

Read the full report here. Ready to take on social media? Your SCORE Mentor can help, online or off. Visit the SCORE website to get matched with your mentor.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia"></a> | <a href="" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


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