According to our recent small business survey, conducted on 1,105 small businesses in January 2015, 74% of small businesses use some form of social media in their marketing efforts. Most use Facebook (66%), followed by Twitter (30%) and Linkedin (28%).
When asked what they wanted to get out of social media, small business owners stated they wanted to generate leads (70%), build brand awareness (53%) and engage their customers (50%).
While many small business owners have come to view their Facebook page as a source of free or nearly free advertising, over a third of small businesses are increasing their budgets over the next twelve months by 15%-20% because they view it as an extremely effective channel.
This is in part due to the increased role social media plays during the purchase process. Today consumers are much more likely to take referrals and reviews from people they know and trust, which can be found on social media. In fact, according to one of our recent consumer studies over 70% have used social media to help make a purchase decision.
This is good news for marketers and shows that engaging with your current customers and maintaining a strong social relationship with them will draw their friends to your business, increasing the potential for you to gain new customers.