According to recent survey data collected by BIA/Kelsey, 72.2 percent of SMBs (small to medium size businesses) are currently using social media forums to promote their businesses in order to establish an immediate and interactive connection with their customers. BIA/Kelsey tracked various social media sites in its survey, including Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook ads, and YouTube, as well as Instagram and Pinterest. Of these, Facebook pages ranked the highest at 53 percent, with LinkedIn coming in at a far second at 31.1 percent. Twitter ranked 18.3 percent, Facebook Ads at 15.2 percent, YouTube at 12.8 percent, and Instagram and Pinterest both at close to 10 percent.

In addition to forums used, BIA/Kelsey also looked at how SMBs assessed the ROI (return on investment) achieved by the various sites for the time they spent promoting their businesses or advertising. (Note that in the survey, only SMBs who reported using a particular forum were asked for their ROI assessment of that site). Interestingly, Facebook ads received the highest combined ROI of excellent (meaning an ROI of 10x to 19x spend) and extraordinary (over 20x spend) at 37.3 percent, even though only just over 15 percent of businesses surveyed reported using this venue. Instagram and the “other social media” category tied for the next highest combined rating at 30.6 percent, even though 8.1 percent and 5.4 percent of SMBs surveyed respectively reported using these forums for advertising and promotion. Twitter followed at a close third place at 30.5 percent combined ROI (extraordinary and excellent ratings). Also notable is that Instagram and Twitter ads both had more respondents rating them at the extraordinary level (19.5 percent and 19.3 percent respectively).

Although LinkedIn was reported as the second most used social media venue, in terms of combined perceived ROI it ranked the lowest at 18.6 percent. Facebook pages (the highest used medium) only capture a 24.1 percent perceived ROI rating.

The above data was captured by BIA/Kelsey via its Local Commerce Monitor™, an ongoing survey that tracks the advertising behaviors of SMBs. Participants in the survey reported an average spend of 21.4 percent (or $7,638) of their annual advertising and promotion budget on social media.


Ackley, Suzanne. “Nearly ¾ of U.S. SMBs Use Social Media to Promote Their Business.” BIA/Kelsey Local Media Watch. 4/29/15.