Vertical Response, a small business marketing company, recently surveyed 462 small businesses about their social media marketing habits. The survey revealed that 66% of small businesses are spending more time and money on social media compared to last year.
The survey found that Facebook trumps other social media sites in the eyes of small business owners. Ninety percent of small businesses say they post regularly on Facebook, with Twitter not far behind with nearly 70% of small businesses sending occasional tweets.
Owners use social media as a subtle way of catching the attention of current and potential customers and reminding them of the presence of their business in the community. According to Johnny Shelby, owner of ThirdCoast Training, “My posts and tweets are little messages that tap my clients on the shoulder and remind them to get back in the game.”
So how much time per week do small businesses spend on social media?
Of businesses surveyed, 43% spent 6 hours or more, 25% spent 6-10 hours, 11% spent 11-20 hours and 7% spent 21 hours or more.
The survey also found that upper-level management is taking an active role in posting and tweeting: 63% of CEOs, owners and proprietors are spending 1-5 hours a week on social media, 23% spend 6-10 hours, 8.5% spend 11-20 hours, and 5.5 percent spend over 20 hours.
The most time-consuming element to social media marketing? Business owners say that finding and posting content takes up the bulk of their time on social media, whereas responding to questions takes the least time.
Findings revealed that more than half (55%) of small businesses have a blog. Time spent creating a blog post ranged from 1-3 hours for 45% of businesses to more than 3 hours for 16%.
Business owners point out that creating a post or using social media for business reasons follows a different set of rules than posting for personal reasons. Violet Tremblay, owner of Painting and Pinot, says, “Although I was pretty familiar with social media on a personal level, it’s different when you’re using it for business. There’s more pressure to do it right, to do it regularly and to do it strategically.”
In spite of the challenges, small business owners are finding that investing time in social media brings its own rewards. In fact, the Vertical Response survey found that social media budgets are on the rise, with four times the number of small businesses increasing their social media budget over those that have decreased it within the last year.
Davis, Kathleen. “Small-Business Owners Spending More Time, Money on Social Media” Entrepreneur. November 5, 2012.