New studies reveal how small business is leveraging social media

Social-MediaTwo recently released studies have revealed how small business is using social media to drive traffic and increase sales as well as uncovering critical demographics about who is actually regularly engaged in social media.

Global marketing research firm TNS recently worked in conjunction with LinkedIn to survey over one thousand small businesses with regard to how they approach social media. One of its most significant findings is that over 80% of the small businesses surveyed revealed that social media has become a dominant resource in the continuing effort to grow their companies.

 There are nearly a million and a half small to medium sized businesses calling North America home and most of them are generating annual revenues of between a million and fifty million dollars. While about half of the companies stated that they employ social media to educate and inform the public about what they do, over ninety percent of them revealed that they engage social media as a vital marketing outlet.

 In the past year, nearly sixty percent of the companies surveyed have boosted their marketing budgets to focus almost exclusively on social media. Industry news and advances along with customer reviews were the most dominant forms of content at their social media sites. LinkedIn went on to say that small businesses throughout North America are experiencing a period of growth that may not slow down for quite some time.

 Well over 90% of the businesses contacted were adamant that social media has become a serious tool and asset to the success of their businesses and that their marketing efforts are producing solid and measurable results. The survey concluded that small business is spending more on social media than larger companies and that banks and other financial firms are finding that social media is the perfect outlet for them with regard to stimulating awareness and driving small business revenue.

 The Pew Research Center, based in Washington, DC, released a study which tries to determine who is actively engaged in social media on a regular basis. Businesses of all sizes have been paying specific attention to the details in an effort to more tightly focus and target their marketing efforts.

 Pew conducted the survey over the course of two months and sampled 1,801 by phone. Perhaps the major finding is the diversity of use regarding many of the major social media outlets.

 Facebook, no surprise, continues to reign supreme with over 70% of all adults having a page and regularly tending to it. In addition, 63% check in daily with about 40% doing so several times in a day. Facebook also has the most college graduates as well as the lion’s share of social media users who make more than $75,000 a year.

 Only about 18% of the population is plugged in to Twitter but they are a dedicated lot with nearly half checking in and updating at least on a daily basis. LinkedIn continues to lead the way with the most active users making more than $75,000 a year and is the only social media outlet that has a larger representation of over 50 adults compared to the prized, and dominant, 18-29 year olds.

 Instagram and Pinterest continue to battle it out for dominance. Pinterest is more female oriented were Instagram is pretty much even with as many males using the site as females. Both sites are heavily visited by the 18-29 year old demographic. With regard to the percentage of online users, 21% of active social media users are on Pinterest with 17% entrenched at Instagram.

 With ever more data to be gleaned, small business continues its ongoing battle to create effective marketing strategies for social media and is finding it a cost effective way to drive revenue and sustain growth.