growing The "Small Business Success Index"™ (SBSI) conducted by University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business found that social media adoption doubled from 12% to 24% among small businesses in the last year.

The study surveyed 500 small business owners about their social media usage. Of those small businesses, 61% had used social media in the past year to identify and attract new customers.

The data from SBSI echoes the information from HubSpot's recent State of Inbound Marketing Report , where 45% of respondents viewed social media and blogging as a lead generation channel of growing importance. The HubSpot report also found that small businesses are spending 180% more of their budgets on blogging and social media.

 
How are small businesses using social media for marketing?

According to the SBSI study:

  • 75% created a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn  
  • 69% post status updates on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 26% use Twitter to talk about their industry expertise
  • 39% have a blog to talk about expertise

In the State of Inbound Marketing Report, blogging was the top-used channel within social media marketing.

What does this mean for small businesses?


Social media marketing is dramatically more inexpensive than traditional marketing tools like advertising and direct mail. Most likely, adoption of online tools will continue to increase as they give small businesses leverage to aggressively compete with large businesses without emptying their wallets.

If you're still considering whether to jump in or not, no better time to get started than now! It appears that the majority of small businesses are already using social media as part of their marketing mix. Who knows, your competition may already be using social media tools ...

Does the data from the reports reflect how you allocate your time to social media? What social media channel do you use the most?

Photo Credit: Bill Rogers

 

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Originally published Mar 2, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013

Topics:

Social Media