About a third of your peers are spending $845 a month on software tools to help them manage their social media exposure. This might not sound like a lot, but consider that another third of your peers are spending more than $1,000 on it. Of the remaining percentage, a large portion of them use consultants to aid in their efforts or simply make it the mission of their marketing employees to handle.
One of the biggest perceptions that the survey recognized needs to be overcome is in the fact that social media is “free.” It is, of course, nothing of the kind. Even time spent by current employees or owners of a small business adds up to an extent, regardless of whether or not you actually buy software to help you measure your impact. I’ve reported on several possibilities before, many of which are free to start with, that can help you keep this cost at a reasonable level.
Another interesting point of this survey is that Facebook should not be the only social media considered for investment. While certainly Facebook has arguably the lion’s share of this market, Google+ is not far behind; 44% of your peers currently use it and more intend to use it in the near future.
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing stated he has been “noticing more and more [that] there’s finally this acceptance that social media not only isn’t going away, it’s an essential element of the marketing mix and the real challenge now is to figure out how to integrate it.”
Indeed, the survey found that only 10% of those surveyed found that their social media efforts had no effect, so most small businesses are not only embracing it but finding it effective; 87% reported that it has been ‘somewhat helpful’ or has ‘helped a great deal.’ And as I’ve always said in my social media articles, even a little is better than nothing.
Ignoring the efforts of your competitors in this realm is something to be done at your risk. 77% of surveyed small businesses said that social media makes up 25% or more of their marketing efforts, 73% have already added social media to the duties of their marketing personnel, and 84% intend to increase their usage of it in the future.
Check out the entire survey below:
Instead of a bandwagon fad, social media’s promotion of business has been proven to not just be effective, but more importantly, your peers think it is. I’m not arguing that you should do what everyone else does just because they’re doing it – you should do it so you don’t get left behind and lose out to a competitor who has already opened up to it.