Path to Influence: An Industry Study of SMBs and Social Media

Today we’ve published a brand new study, with our partner Duct Tape Marketing, of how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are using  social media.  First and foremost, let’s point out that this survey is statistically significant with an actual confidence interval of +/- 4.9%. This means, of course, the data is solid.

The challenges SMBs face? Overcoming the perception that social media is free. Multiple tool sets for managing social media. Addressing customer concerns in a public forum. These are all themes we found in the study.  As one respondent wrote in on an open ended question:

“The challenge has been how to deal with unhappy customers and negative posts about company services.  We try and keep communication to have excellent customer service and provide constant feedback.”

The good news?  SMBs are using social media, they are finding it helpful, and they are focused on business outcomes as a means of measuring their progress.

  • 77% of SMBs say that social media accounts for 25% or more of their total marketing effort
  • 87% of SMBs say social media has been somewhat helpful or helped a great deal
  • The top two measurement metrics are 1) traffic (76%) and 2) # of new customers

Path to influence.  One of the most fascinating findings of the study was the divergent views of online influence. For example, 40% of SMBs prefer a smaller but highly engaged audience, while 27% would prefer a huge following with little engagement. What’s important to note is the 27% that prefer a large following are also more likely to report social media has been very helpful to their efforts. 

Where can you find a report on this survey? It’s posted right here – no registration required!  Enjoy!

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