Small size companies are often those which have the ability to grow and develop faster than medium-sized businesses. That is mainly due to the reason that SMBs have limited resources and they need to search for creative marketing alternatives to help them increase their business. Among the most popular marketing and advertising alternative for small businesses is social media.
This is namely the topic of the latest study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The research is called 2012 Inc. 500 Social Media Settles In. In the study participated about 170 different small companies the majority of which were founded in the last eight years. The research focused on the social media marketing practices of these firms in 2012 and their plans for this year.
One of the key findings that resulted from the survey was that small businesses have invested less on social media marketing over the last twelve months compared to 2011. Two years ago, over 70% of the small-sized companies have increased their expenses for this type of marketing, while only 25% of them kept the investment rates unchanged. In comparison, in 2012, the percentage of small businesses which have decided to increase their social media marketing investments has dropped by nearly 30% reaching less than 45%. The majority of the small businesses last year have not increased their expensed on SM marketing (41%).
The study explains that the key reason behind this change is that small-size companies are no longer hiring new employees for social media marketing. Instead, more than half of them (65%) are mainly relying to the internal resources they have.
In addition, the research has discovered that more and more SMBs prefer to incorporate social media into their already existing marketing and business plans (59%). According to the study, that was due to the limited resources of the companies. Only 12% of all small businesses that participated in the survey continue to have a standalone strategy for its social media marketing.
However, some trends remain pretty much unchanged. The number of small businesses that use monitoring tools to track their SM success is still in the 60% – 70% range which was established back in 2009. Also, social networks continue to be the most popular social media platform for small business marketing. Nearly 70% of all small firms rely mainly on them, while less than 45% of the businesses use a blog and only 30% – video platforms.