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BizReport : : November 13, 2012

Social media overwhelming some SMBs

More SMBs in the U.S. are using social media in their marketing, according to new research, but SMB community website Manta reveals social media destinations can be overwhelming environments for small business owners.

by Helen Leggatt

BIA-Kelsey.jpgIn their latest "Local Commerce Monitor" (Wave 16, Q3 2012), BIA/Kelsey found that small businesses in the U.S. upped marketing spend on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other social destinations.

In the 12 months to Q3 2012, small businesses spent, on average, $1,190 on social media activity, compared with just $876 spent in the previous 12-month period.

"While total annual spending on advertising and promotion remained flat at around $3,000 for the previous 12 months, SMBs are allocating more of their marketing dollars to digital presence assets," said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. "From web presence and mobile websites to social media, small businesses are building deeper and broader engagement with customers across a range of digital presence platforms."

More SMBs are using social media than ever before, found BIA/Kelsey, with 63% now saying they use the channel.

manta-logo-only-152w_001.jpgHowever, research from Manta shows just how overwhelming it can be for small business marketers and owners to successfully navigate and use social media effectively. In a recent poll of just over 600 small business owners across the U.S., the SMB community website found that over half (58%) struggled to find value using Facebook, or didn't have a page at all.

Furthermore, while channels such as Pinterest and Groupon were considered popular channels among consumers, it was considered the "most unfruitful" channel for SMBs.

"Small businesses understand they need to go where their audience is. Participating, networking and being found online is extremely important today in growing their business, so it's not surprising that they are embracing the channel", said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta.

Tags: Facebook, networking, small business, social marketing, social media, Twitter

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