On a regular basis small business owners ask us if Social Media is worth spending time on. Based on the results of our 2011 Small Business Social Media Survey the answer to that question is YES! In this follow-up survey, small businesses are defined as companies with 1-50 employees. It is important to note this survey did not attempt to measure the number of small businesses using social media, but rather how existing social business users are employing the tools.
This survey was conducted entirely online from May 1 – July 1, 2011. As you may know, Google Plus launched in late June, and was not included as a choice in the study. Links to the survey were sent via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and email. It was also publicized on www.roundpeg.biz and www.MarketingTechBlog.com. We received 243 responses from small business owners of companies with less than 50 employees.
We wanted to know to understand what small business owners were thinking and doing with social media. We set out to discover if social media is it the savior of small business or a giant waste of time?
The data seems to indicate social media is having a positive impact on the lead generation. Almost 70% of business owners indicated they generate leads from social media. But is it adding to the bottom line?
More than half the businesses in this year’s study indicated social media was connected to at least 6% of their sales, so the payoff is clearly there
As we reviewed the comments it is clear business owners are not in agreement as to the potential of social media. Here is what business owners told us when we asked if Social Media: Solid business practice or a waste of time?
- If you are not wowing your customers or potential customers with social media, your competition is.
- Social media is just a PIECE of the marketing puzzle. If you don’t have a plan and good content, social media won’t save your business.
- Social media generates poor ROI when ‘time’ is the investment.
- In terms of target-marketing accuracy, it is only slightly better than dropping business cards from an airplane.
- Be cautious about spending an inordinate amount of time on Twitter and Facebook. They can be time eaters.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of time to reach this audience.
- Don’t get caught up in the hype. Social Media isn’t some magical savior for your business. It’s only free if your time is worth nothing and personally that is my most expensive asset.
- Putting time and attention into SM is totally worth it.