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88% of small business owners say social media is important for business

The importance of social media for small businesses is growing. It’s an extremely cost-effective tool that can help businesses get ahead in the online marketplace.

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Social media is extremely popular. Nearly everyone these days has a personal Facebook or Instagram account, and businesses – even small businesses – have been on social media for quite a while as well. However, according to a new study by HigherVisibility, the perception of what social media can do for a business has changed.

HigherVisibility surveyed 1,000 small business owners with at least one employee and a website for their business, asking questions about how SMBs approach a variety of digital marketing practices. And in that survey, 88% of SMBs claimed that building an online presence was vital to their business’ success. So what was the most common tactic for small businesses when building a presence online?

Social media. According to the study, 57.5% of small business owners considered social media an “extremely important” tool for their business. Another 25.2% called it “somewhat important.” In the study, it was the most popular way for small business owners to establish an online presence.

This makes plenty of sense, of course. Social media is free to use and offers small businesses a direct line of communication with their customers. It’s easy to use as well and can be both time and cost-effective for small business owners. It also allows SMBs to delve into online branding and control the message about their business. However, do SMBs know what sort of messages resonates with their audience?  

The majority of small business owners handle their social media pages themselves

The study also shows that small business owners like to take an active role in their social media presence. 57.4% of owners directly manage their social media accounts, with an additional 28.9% delegating the task to an in-house employee. Female owners are also significantly more likely to handle social media themselves as well. 68.35% of female owners handle their social media accounts; male owners manage their social media accounts only 47.72% of the time.

Despite acknowledging the importance of social media, however, the amount SMBs budget for social media advertising is fairly small. 41.4% would expect to see significant results from a social media budget of $0-99 a month.

The interesting takeaway from this information is that SMBs are extremely interested in succeeding online, may not be taking the proper steps to make that a reality. It would be interesting to see how many of these owners utilize statistics and track engagement with their posts. Does their social media plan line up with the company’s goals?   

In conclusion, the importance of social media for small businesses is growing. It’s an extremely cost-effective tool that can help businesses get ahead in the online marketplace. However, that also comes with its own challenges; SMBs are going to need to dig deeper and develop a nuanced strategy to make the most of their social media efforts.  

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