Despite much debate over the value of social networks to small business marketing, recent data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT) indicates that small businesses are increasingly seeing the value of social media platforms across the board, and, in particular, LinkedIn and Twitter. Eighty percent of respondents surveyed in December 2012 said they conduct social media marketing and, when asked which social media platform was the most effective for their organization, the always-dominant Facebook won out at 82 percent. More notable was the fact that 29 percent said LinkedIn was effective for their business, an increase of 19 percentage points compared to a similar Constant Contact Small Business survey last spring, and 25 percent said Twitter, a rise of 18 percentage points from last spring.
When asked which social media platform is the most effective for their organization:
- Facebook: 82 percent (vs. 75 percent in May 2012)
- LinkedIn: 29 percent (vs. 10 percent in May 2012)
- Twitter: 25 percent (vs. 7 percent in May 2012)
- YouTube: 15 percent (vs. 3 percent in May 2012)
- Pinterest: 9 percent (vs. 1 percent in May 2012)
- Yelp: 6 percent (vs. 2 percent in May 2012)
- Google+: 5 percent (vs. 1 percent in May 2012)
“The sharp increase in effectiveness ratings for both Linkedin and Twitter is significant,” said Mark Schmulen, general manager, social media, Constant Contact. “While Facebook remains the dominant platform, small businesses are successfully expanding their engagement to reach audiences across multiple networks. This indicates another positive step in the social media adoption curve for SMBs.”
Social Media S.O.S.While small business interest in, and appreciation for, social media is on the rise, small business owners continue to lack confidence in their social media skills. More than half (54 percent) chose social media marketing as the marketing activity they need the most help with, which might explain why their frequency of use with social media is not where it needs to be. Only 13 percent of survey respondents post to Twitter daily and ten percent post weekly to LinkedIn.