Small Business Owners Plan to Increase Their Social Media Efforts
Social media has been both a blessing and a bane to many — small business owners included. While popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others have made it easier for businesses to market themselves and communicate with customers, the constant evolution of these platforms can make it difficult to keep up. Furthermore, in addition to the introduction of new features and cosmetic changes, some social networks alterations mean page owners need to pay up in order to have their content seen. Despite these frustrations, a new study finds that the vast majority of small business owners plan to increase their social media efforts in the coming year.
According to a survey by The Manifest and reported on by MarketingCharts, nearly three-quarters of small businesses currently utilize social media. Of those, a full 92% say they intend to “up their game” this year. Moreover the study looked at which platforms in particular owners planned to invest their time and money in.
Topping the list was Facebook, which 58% of business owners say they plan to put more effort into. This is notable for a few reasons, not the least of which is the current scandals Facebook has found themselves in. Beyond the privacy concerns, Facebook has also been a major proponent of that aforementioned “pay to play” paradigm thanks to the deemphasizing of business pages during a recent algorithm updated.
Tied for second with 39% was another Facebook-owned platform: Instagram. The photo-sharing app has been known for its high engagement rates, although small business owners may still be trying to navigate the services limited linking abilities. As for which platform Instagram is tied with, the answer is YouTube. Once again this is slightly surprising given YouTube’s on-again, off-again relationship with advertisers over concerns of what content their spots were running on. That said, it’s likely that the 39% of small business owners who said they wanted to increase their YouTube efforts meant creating video content on their own and not necessarily running ads on other clips.
In fourth place was Twitter with 32% followed by Google+ with 31%. Lastly the famously young-skewing Snapchat and business-minded LinkedIn saw 21% of 18% of owners respectively interested in increasing their efforts. To that point it’s unclear if the relatively low support for Snapchat has more to do with business owners still not fully comprehending the app or if Instagram’s knock-off feature Stories just seems more appealing at this point.
Aside from posting organically on these various social media platforms, a good number of small business owners also report paying to advertise on them as well. In fact 46% say they’ve used social advertising in the past. That’s likely because, while paying to reach your followers may be annoying to some, social media advertising is still relatively affordable overall.
Ultimately it should come as no surprise that social media is still popular among small business owners. Similarly, while Facebook has certainly had a bumpy few months, their dominance and reach are undeniable. As a result there’s good reason why small business owners who want reach new customers and keep in touch with their current fans would want to increase their efforts on these popular platforms.