Social media appears to be growing in popularity among small businesses looking to make the most of their digital marketing efforts. Currently, 82 percent of small businesses owners say they utilize social media to reach customers, but that number will reach close to 90 percent of businesses in the next year, new research found.
Businesses are using social marketing in a number of ways. Nearly 30 percent of business owners say they utilize social media not only in communicating with customers, but also in their communication with industry leaders and even their competitors. Additionally, 34 percent of business owners also say they give exclusive offers on social media.
Facebook remains the most popular and most effective platform for small business owners. Nearly 60 percent of small business owners say they are also using LinkedIn and Twitter, while 47 percent of respondents use YouTube. After Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube were ranked most effective by small business owners.
The research from Constant Contact found that businesses remain holdouts to social media for a number of reasons. First and foremost, small business owners feel that email marketing is sufficient to meet their marketing goals. Additionally, business owners also say they do not have the proper resources to use social media. Three in 10 business owners also say that social media is either not right for their business or they don’t know how to post on platforms. Thirteen percent of business owners also say they do not know what to post on social media.
Business owners also worry about the amount of time social media marketing consumes. Fifty-five percent of respondents to additional research by Constant Contact say that they spend at least four hours a week on marketing. However, those businesses also say that keeping up with new technology makes it a challenge for them to effectively market their business.