Social Media Ranks Low for Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

December 04, 2012

Many experts are pushing social media as the great equalizer for small businesses, but only 35% of small business owners actively use social media.

Not every business, especially a startup, can afford a large scale marketing and advertising program, but any size business can use social media to promote themselves and their products or services. But, only 35% of the small businesses in our eDNA survey from early this year were actively using social media for business.

With low costs and zero barrier to entry, why aren’t more small business taking advantage of social media? The answer lies at the intersection of a well known cliché and one of Yogi Berra’s many words of wisdom – you get what you pay for and nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded. Social media is inexpensive, but that also means you’re starting out with a tool to reach the general public, not your specific target as you would with advertising. And since anybody can use social media, there are a lot of messages, comments and just plain noise out there to compete with and try to get your message across. The key is using social media in the right way to reach the people you want to engage with your business and what it has to offer.

What’s worked best for small business owners? Word of Mouth topped the list, with 79% citing it as one of their most effective marketing techniques. Second, was plain old traditional Advertising at 44%.

We dug a little deeper into the current relationship between small business and social media across industries in the infograph below. Do you use social media for your small business? If not, do you plan to start?