Social media not a “must” for SMB marketers

Posted on July 29, 2011

Social media with its ease of use and cost-effectiveness has long been touted as an ideal marketing environment for small businesses. A recent survey from Pitney Bowes found half of small business marketers used it for just such reasons.

Hiscox’s survey of 304 U.S. small business owners and managers reveals that while half are using social media just 12% consider it an essential part of their marketing toolkit.
But here’s the strange thing – 50% stated that word-of-mouth marketing was an essential tool.
Are small businesses missing the point? Surely social marketing is the digital extension of word-of-mouth marketing? It would seem strange that the two would be considered separately and at the same time worrying that small businesses haven’t made the connection.
Among those small businesses who do use social media, 19% use Facebook, 15% use LinkedIn, and 4% use Twitter. Just over a quarter said their company’s Facebook Page was its most important social media channel, compared to 18% for a corporate LinkedIn profile and 8% for a company blog. Two percent have a company Twitter feed while 6% have a YouTube or video-streaming channel.