All types of businesses are using social media heavily for advertising, regardless of what they sell, what they do, or of the size of the business. However, speaking in terms of size, small businesses are showing some impressive numbers regarding social media effectiveness, at least that is according to a recent survey results from Constant Contact, an engagement marketing solutions company. The company surveyed a thousand small business owners in December of 2012, asking various questions about business activity, plans, and more importantly, marketing strategies. Although the survey gave a lot of insight into the world of small business, the more interesting details came with the social media marketing portion of the study.

Constant Contact asked these small businesses, “Which social media platform do you find the most effective for your organization?” The results of this question came as follows for December of last year:

  • Facebook: 82 percent
  • LinkedIn: 29 percent
  • Twitter: 25 percent
  • YouTube: 15 percent
  • Pinterest: 9 percent
  • Yelp: 6 percent
  • Google+: 5 percent

Facebook is in the lead, which has by now become old news to most. However, who expected LinkedIn to be in second place for small businesses, ahead of Twitter? And as if these results were not interesting enough, the survey is even more note-worthy when compared to the results of the same question from the survey taken eight months prior.

In May of 2012, all of the social media networks had significantly lower numbers of small business owners crediting them with being most effective. Facebook jumped from 75 percent in May to 82 percent in December. Also, in May LinkedIn was only at 10 percent and Twitter only at 7 percent. YouTube jumped from only 3 percent to 15 percent. At some point in that eight months’ time between survey periods, an enormous burst of social media use occurred with small businesses.

From the Constant Contact Newsroom post regarding the survey:

The sharp increase in effectiveness ratings for both Linkedin and Twitter is significant. While Facebook remains the dominant platform, small businesses are successfully expanding their engagement to reach audiences across multiple networks.  This indicates another positive step in the social media adoption curve for SMBs.

Mark Schmulen, general manager, social media, Constant Contact.

The survey also shows that even though small businesses are readily adopting social media into their marketing campaigns, many are still not very confident in their ability to use social networks effectively. “More than half (54 percent) chose social media marketing as the marketing activity they need the most help with, which might explain why their frequency of use with social media is not where it needs to be.”

Small businesses are on their way to seeing great success in social media marketing, but for now it seems they still have some learning to do. For those small business owners that are ahead of the game, knowing all that they need for a successful social campaign, will do quite well, as is stated in the survey’s results.

What's your opinion?