Saturday, October 29, 2011

Very-Small Businesses Use Social Media, But Spend Little

Very-small businesses, especially those with one to 10 employees, do not spend much money on their social media efforts. In fact, perhaps 42 percent say they spend nothing additional to support their activities, and perhaps 17 percent spend $100 or less on an annual basis, a survey by Zoomerang suggests. As many as 74 percent of respondents further say they do not employ anybody to manage social media programs.

None of that should be terribly surprising. One of the attractions of using social media is that, while it takes time, it does not necessarily require incremental spending.

Nearly half of the surveyed SMBs use social media to market to customers; of those, an overwhelming majority (86 percent) have Facebook accounts.

The top three favorite features used by both SMBs and consumers are photos, messages and status updates. At the same time, the reported "most effective" tactics for businesses to reach customers are wall posts and direct messages.  Zoomerang SMB survey:

The top three reasons SMBs use social networks are: connecting with customers, visibility and self-promotion. In other words, SMBs use social media for a mix of reasons, including lead generation and branding, loyalty and customer acquisition.

The top three things businesses want to know from customers on Facebook are customer satisfaction with products, customer satisfaction with service provided, and ideas for new business promotions. In other words, "how do you like our products," "how do you like the experience of buying" and "what can we do to convince you to buy more?"

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