The latest Manta survey of small businesses finds that more than half had a successful first quarter, and almost three-quarters are upbeat about continued growth in the second quarter. One key component of this survey revealed that small business owners have maintained or increased their social media campaigns, and that close to forty percent are showing positive returns on this investment.
In the data released from this survey of over 1,200 small business owners, 43% of those who saw a return from social media programs said it ranged anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 and thirty percent of those reported a return of over $2,000.
According to the CEO of Manta, Pamela Springer, “…small business owners are strategically adopting platforms that show real results for their business…However, social media is not a stationary phenomenon. As SMBs shift from the experimental stage to a results-focused phase, their social media usage will evolve to maximize the value.”
This revenue-generating potential has spurred an upward trend in social media participation, with more than one in three small business owners dedicating at least part of their activities to managing these channels. While the majority handles social media accounts themselves, there is a rising trend towards using third party services to manage them, particularly for Facebook, which was identified as the most time consuming to maintain.
In the survey, 36% of those surveyed indicated that the primary reason for using social media was to “acquire and engage with new customers.” In addition, 19% use social media to generate new leads and referrals, 17% use it to promote awareness and market their business, and 8% use it as a community building enterprise.
This is particularly interesting in that the respondents said that over half of their projected second quarter investment capital will be directed towards generating referrals, engaging new customers, and for online marketing, advertising, and social media. This positive endorsement demonstrates confidence in this results generating business approach.
Xie, Kelly. “Manta’s Q1 SMB Wellness Index Reveals Small Businesses find ROI in Social Media but Struggle with Facebook.” 4/16/13.