A new study shows the increasing reliance of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) on social media to drive growth and increase awareness. Commissioned by professional social network LinkedIn along with market research firm TNS, the study found that 81% of SMBs use social media, with another 9% planning to use it for their business in the future.
The report showed that social media is helping businesses in several areas. Over 60% find it useful in acquiring new customers, while nearly half use it as a learning platform, particularly to get answers and recommendations for peers. “SMBs will continue to be a driving force of the economy for years to come,” read the report in its conclusion.
While 56% of SMBs are increasing their social media spending, companies in so-called hyper-growth mode (demonstrating a significant increase in overall revenue) are increasing that spend at a faster pace. And a greater percentage of hyper-growth companies are spending more on social media than any other kind of marketing vehicle, including e-mail marketing as well as online and offline advertising, study data shows.
“We know that for SMBs the greatest challenge is attracting and retaining customers,” said Lana Khavinson, a senior product manager at LinkedIn. “Here is a really clear indicator of the value that social media is providing to companies that are rapidly growing.”