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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 01, 2013

SMBs perceive LinkedIn as most beneficial social media tool

A survey of small business CEOs by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International found that LinkedIn is perceived as being the most beneficial social media tool.

by Helen Leggatt

The survey, by WSJ and senior executive peer advisory organization Vistage, is fielded online for a period of 10 days every month. Its objective is to gauge sentiment of U.S. CEOs and small-business owners from a broad range of industries to the economy and business practices.

In the January survey participants were asked which social media tools they currently use, as well as which one they believe is most beneficial to their business.

Not surprisingly, LinkedIn was the most-used in all industries bar retail. This makes sense; the majority of the industries covered in the survey are more B2B-oriented and more suited to LinkedIn's environment. Those in the retail industry, on the other hand, are more likely to use social networks such as Facebook and Google+.

When it comes to which social tool was perceived to be most beneficial to their business, CEOs again picked LinkedIn. And again, retail was the only industry to select Facebook and Google+.

Twitter didn't fare too well in the survey. Just 3.3% of the 835 survey participants felt the micro-blogging platform could help them further their business goals. Only Pinterest was considered less useful (1.78%).

"The findings illustrate the challenges facing Twitter in demonstrating to small-business owners the benefits of using the short-messaging service to reach customers," writes Emily Maltby of the WSJ. "Twitter says it is just beginning to court small businesses, which make up the bulk of U.S. companies, and are an important revenue source for many tech giants, including Google."

Tags: business trends, marketing technology, small business, SMB, social media, social tools, survey

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