It’s a question that comes up again and again in discussions about social media as an advertising tool for small businesses. Do small businesses use social media effectively? The answer seems to be that they are getting there.
Hiscox, who provide insurance for business clients, commissioned a study into the way small businesses use social media, and the results were extremely interesting. According to the study, 57% of small businesses use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is an encouraging percentage, although most businesses really should have some sort of social media presence, even if it’s not part of a concentrated digital media strategy or budget. Facebook came out top as the social media channel used most by small businesses, ahead of LinkedIn and Twitter, while Facebook also emerged as the frontrunner in effectively helping SME’s boost their growth.
Of the medium-sized businesses of between 50 and 249 employees that took part in the study, 21% use social media to generate sales, while just 6% of smaller businesses use it for this purpose. Overall, 15% of companies use social media to boost sales, with a higher percentage – 27% – using it as a way to increase brand awareness, with just 7% using it to enhance SEO results.
The figures suggest that there’s plenty of room for small businesses to significantly improve their social media strategy. The opportunities are there for all to see – 53% of adults who use social media follow brands and four in five visit social media sites. It’s a market that small businesses just cannot afford to ignore.