Small business still missing social media boost

Nearly half of small businesses in the US do not actively use social media, and 25 percent claim that they are unlikely to use social media in the future, according to a survey conducted by research firm Clutch.

Those companies active on social media however appear to be finding value, with roughly one-third of those planning to increase their social media resources in 2015.

Clutch’s survey investigated small businesses’ range of investment in social media strategies this year. Of those with active social profiles, 38 percent plan to increase employee time dedicated to social media in 2015, 30 percent plan to increase spend on social advertising, and 12 percent plan to increase spend on an outside agency or consultant.

“If small businesses want to compete, they have to be participating in social media,” said Mike Rosa, director of marketing at online marketing agency 180Fusion. “More and more, people are becoming a little bit wary of traditional advertising. They’re much more likely to take referrals and reviews from people that they know and trust, which can be found on social media.”

Commenting on the survey outcome, John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing, told Clutch how small businesses that invest in social media have much to gain.

“You use some of these [social media] tools effectively and, all of a sudden, you’re not selling anymore, and you’re not convincing people whether or not they should buy from you. You become the option of choice by building a brand, and building authority, and being seen as an expert,” Jantsch explained. “I think that’s available to anybody, regardless of where they’re starting and regardless of the size of their business.”

The social media marketing report is the third of four segments Clutch has published examining the results of their first annual small business survey. The final piece will examine mobile application development. To collect the data, Clutch analysts gathered over 350 survey responses from small business owners and managers distributed across the US.