Small Businesses Look to Up Their Activity on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram

May 22, 2018

Small businesses are looking to increase their time and money investments in social media this year, reports The Manifest in a survey of 351 small business owners and managers at companies in the US with fewer than 500 employees (78% with fewer than 50 employees). The survey found that roughly 71% are using social media, and that 92% of those plan to increase their efforts this year.

The study reveals that Facebook – despite its recent privacy issues – still commands the most influence among small businesses. Fully 58% of respondents using social media plan to hike their time and money investment in Facebook as they seek to target its broad audience.

Beyond Facebook, both YouTube and Instagram are seeing interest from small businesses: 39% of respondents using social media plan to hike their investments in each of those platforms this year.

These three platforms are also the ones that social media marketers the world over plan to increase their organic activities on the most this year, according to new research from Social Media Examiner.

Almost Half of Those Using Social Pay for Ads

As organic reach declines (particularly on Facebook), small businesses are turning to social media ads to reach audiences. In fact, almost half (46%) of those who use social media marketing are using paid social advertising. That aligns with recent research from Constant Contact, which found that 37% of all small businesses run social media ads.

Not everyone can afford to pay for social media advertising, though, it seems. Smaller companies – which are presumably more cash-strapped – are far less likely than their larger counterparts to use paid social. For example, among businesses using social media, fewer than one-third with up to 10 employees pay for social ads, compared to a slight majority (53%) of those with 11-50 employees and 74% of those with 51-500 employees.

A similar pattern plays out with respect to usage of social media marketing in general: 85% of companies with 51-500 employees invest time and money into social media, compared to 58% of single-employee businesses.

About the Data: The Manifest surveyed 351 small business owners or managers from across the U.S. with fewer than 500 employees.

Some 15% of respondent businesses have 1 employee, 40% have 2-10 employees, 23% have 11-50 employees, 16% have 51-250 employees, and 6% have 251-500 employees.

A majority (57%) of respondents had revenue of less than $1 million in 2017.

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