A new study shows that small businesses are getting more bang for the marketing buck from social media marketing than large companies. According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 90 percent of marketers polled said they agreed with the statement, “Is social media important to your business?” But the study also showed that self-employed (67 percent) and small business owners (66 percent) were more likely to strongly agree with that statement. Almost all businesses find that social media helps them stand out in crowded market and receive increased exposure, traffic and business, the study said. But small business owners were more likely than all other segments (89 percent) to see increased exposure.
The concrete benefits attributed to social media marketing included new partnerships (59 percent), improved sales (48 percent), and a reduction in marketing costs (59 percent for self-employed and 58 percent for small businesses).
The payback equation was pretty simple, the report concluded—the more time you put into social media efforts, the bigger the payback. Seventy-five percent of those spending as little as six hours per week on social media marketing saw increased traffic and were twice as likely to see leads generated as those who spend five hours or less.
The amount of time businesses have been using social media is important. Companies and self-employed individuals with three years or more experience in social media marketing saw the greatest results. Only 25 percent of businesses just getting started in social media marketing saw new partnerships formed, as compared to 80 percent or more of those with three or more years of experience.