Facebook is by far the top social network in terms of adoption by small and midsized businesses (SMBs), but its prospects for growth in that sector are dim, as it may have reached a point of saturation, according to the results of a survey of decision-makers at 400 SMBs by cloud marketing software provider Vocus and Duct Tape Marketing.
Other findings of the study included:
- Facebook was the most-used site among SMBs, but second-to-last, topping only MySpace, in terms of future intent. Google Plus and Instagram topped the future intent list, at 14 percent apiece.
- Social media accounts for 25 percent or more in terms of overall marketing efforts for the vast majority of SMBs, 77 percent.
- Overcoming the perception that social media is “free” was a frequently cited challenge.
- 36 percent of SMBs spend a median of $845 per month on software tools for social media management, but 32 percent surpass $1,000 monthly. The median number of tools used by SMBs is three.
- 22 percent of SMBs use consultants to aid with their social media efforts, while 73 percent added social media to the existing duties of a marketing staffer.
- The most commonly tracked metric by SMBs was increased traffic to website, measured by 76 percent of them.
- 40 percent of SMBs prefer a smaller but highly engaged audience, while 27 percent eye large followings with little engagement.
- The most common use of social media among SMBs was the sharing of information, at 91 percent, with only 46 percent seeing it as a tool for customer service.
- 87 percent of SMBs said social media has been somewhat or very helpful to them, while 10 percent said it had no effect.
- 84 percent of SMBs plan to increase their use of social media at least a little in the future.
Readers: What is your reaction to the findings by Vocus and Duct Tape Marketing?