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Social Media Now Has Highest Demand Among SMBs

ConstantContact SMB findings

I’m fascinated by small business (SMB) perceptions of digital media and which ones they think are most important or valuable.

Roughly a year ago we surveyed 300 SMBs and found SEO was the top channel that they would invest in if they had more money: “If you had 2X your current marketing budget where would you spend the money?” Their top three answers were:

  1. SEO
  2. Their website
  3. Social media

However new data (n=500 SMBs) argue that priorities have changed. We recently asked a slightly different question: “If you could do only one type of online marketing for your business what would it be?” Here was the response:

Social media top channel for SMBs

These results change if respondents are younger or older. Those older than 45 valued SEO higher than social, though just barely. For the youngest cohort, social media was preferred more than 2:1 over the next choice, which as video. SEO was in fourth position after email, which was third.

Presumably these preferences reflect respondents experiences and priorities as consumers.

In something of a contrarian data set, a recent Manta survey of 4,500 SMBs found that 51% of SMBs don’t have a Facebook Page for their business. And 50% of those that do said that they weren’t seeing a positive ROI. Most of those surveyed had fewer than 10 employees.

What do you think of these findings? Are they consistent with what you’re seeing in the market?

2 Responses to “Social Media Now Has Highest Demand Among SMBs”

  1. Anthea says:

    But what are these businesses doing with their social? Are they using Facebook ads with marketing funnels and landing pages, or are they just posting content to their social accounts?

    I can understand how a local resturaunt or interior designer can leverage platforms like Facebook and Instagram, creating share-worthy and attractive content. But what about a plumbing company, a chiropractor, or an HVAC repairman? Some examples of how these SMBs you looked at are using Facebook would be great, because the majority I see aren’t leveraging it, and it would be curious to see examples of what this article speaks about.

  2. Greg Sterling says:

    No examples here; this was just a reflection of demand. Most SMBs are not doing a great job with social. They’re posting content and some are boosting posts. Most are still unsophisticated about how to use social.

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