If there's one thing most small businesses have in common, it's their love of social media marketing, new research finds.
Small businesses rely more on social media marketing than on any other form of advertising, according to a study from local media and advertising research firm BIA/Kelsey. Specifically, nearly three-quarters of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) are investing in some form of social media marketing.
Facebook is the social media outlet of choice for most small businesses. More than 55 percent of the businesses surveyed have a Facebook page dedicated to their business, and another 20 percent have run a Facebook ad or promoted post in the past.
In addition to Facebook, other social media platforms — including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter — are also being used widely by small businesses as promotional tools. Overall, 20 percent regularly tweet or retweet, 13.6 percent use promoted tweets, 19.8 percent use Google Social or Local and 10 percent each use Pinterest and Instragram. Additionally, 31 percent use LinkedIn, however the study's authors believe a significant portion of small business' promotional usage of LinkedIn is for recruiting and HR purposes and not general business advertising purposes. [Social Success? How to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI ]
"We were impressed with the strength of the whole social media category, not just Facebook," Steve Marshall, director of research for BIA/Kelsey, said in a statement.
Overall, the results show that social media has become a pivotal platform for small businesses, Marshall said. "Social media is not only No. 1 in terms of utilization by SMBs; it is also No. 1 in share of SMB media spending," Marshall said in a statement.
The small businesses surveyed reported spending 21.4 percent of their total media budget on social media in the past 12 months. Overall, the survey respondents said they dedicate more of their adverting and promotional budget to social media than to any other channel, including online and mobile marketing, direct mail, newspaper and broadcast advertising, local coupons, local print and online directories, giveaway items and community sponsorships.
The study was based on surveys of 546 small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
Originally published on Business News Daily.