The results from a study conducted by SMB Group, a marketing insight company, in March 2012 came in today and were reported by eMarketer. The study was conducted in order to see which businesses were using social media marketing efficiently and which were not. The results show that big businesses are doing quite well with marketing on social media platforms, but smaller and medium-sized businesses still struggle with seeing results or integrating social media throughout the business. Small businesses often have a harder time with marketing, especially social media marketing, due to less money for ad spending and less company awareness.

Anyway, the results of the study showed that of the small businesses with between 20 and 99 employees; only 24% effectively used social media platforms to engage with customers or potential customers in a productive way. On top of that, 20% said they were using social media, but as eMarketer describes it, “in an ad hoc, informal way.” For medium businesses, though, social media seemed to be less of an issue. Of those businesses with 100 to 999 employees, 33% said they were seeing success from their social media marketing campaigns. Still though, 19% of medium sized businesses were using social media in an “ad hoc way.”

Small businesses and medium sized businesses must use social media marketing more effectively to stay alive, for in many cases it has become the new word of mouth. Social media is the main technique used in today’s world to communicate with friends and relatives, and being present in the social media world can benefit a small business much more greatly than it could a big business. There are countless ways for these small and medium businesses to start helping themselves with social media, and there are many different networks to choose from.

In the study, the SMB Group found which networks the businesses that saw success in social media marketing were using. Since Facebook is a place where small businesses can raise awareness and advertise for very little money at all, it is no surprise that it tops the list with 26% of small businesses and 38% of medium businesses stating that they do indeed have a company Facebook page. The least used of the small businesses were the Geolocation social media networks, but for medium businesses, the least used were social bookmarking sites.

Basically, the study from the SMB group just gives insight into how small and medium sized businesses are using social media marketing platforms, but looking deeper, it shows that these businesses are neglecting a beneficial tool. With so little small and medium businesses effectively using social media, it brings to question how the others are marketing their businesses. Word of mouth used to be the most important factor for keeping a small business running, but after the recent digitalization of society, social media is the best tool for keeping a company with blood in its veins. In short, more small businesses need to tackle social media soon, or they will notice a significant slipping in business.

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