Small Businesses Lag in Social Media Use, but Facebook Says That’s Changing

December 7, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Local & Directories / Small Biz | Social Media

Small businesses are behind in their adoption of social media, finds Hiscox in survey results released in December 2012. Just 35% of the respondents said they are actively using social media (a figure that appears rather low), although 16% are interested in learning how to use social, and 7% would like to but don’t have the time. But, while small businesses might not yet be fully cottoning on to social media, Facebook claims to have seen a rapid rise in the number of local business pages. As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook’s head of small business, Dan Levy, says that there are now 13 million local business pages, and that represents a jump of more than 40% from January. What’s more, the number of local business pages buying ads on Facebook has close to doubled in that period.

Concerns About Social’s Usefulness Plague Small Businesses

Still, there’s an air of uncertainty surrounding the benefits of social media. A recent survey by Act-On Software, conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that there’s a perception among SMBs that social is yet to prove its worth. It appears that the small businesses surveyed by Hiscox share that concern, too. 14% don’t know if social media is useful for promoting their business, and an additional 19% don’t believe it is. 1 in 10 just don’t understand social media enough to have an opinion.

Other Findings:

  • Small business owners do have an opinion on what works best for them. 79% said word-of-mouth was effective for them, and 44% said the same about advertising.
  • Some small businesses are more apt to use social media than others. For example, 42% of IT/media service shops use social, compared to 31% of business services companies and 18% of auto shops.

About the Data: The Hiscox research was conducted by The Survey Shop, among 500 owners or partners of SMEs in the US, via online panels, between July 17 and July 28, 2012.

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