LinkedIn is only one element of SMBs’ digital outreach
Larger brands have spent more time and money on their social media outreach, yet small and medium-sized businesses are starting to gain a foothold on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and on mobile platforms.
In June 2012, LinkedIn analyzed the countries where worldwide small-business professionals with accounts on the site lived and found that, not surprisingly due to the site’s headquarters, the US was the top country, with more than 6.8 million small-business professionals. The UK and India were the next most popular countries, with 1.06 million and 1.01 million professionals, respectively.
It is not only small-business professionals who are jumping into social media. Small businesses themselves are getting more involved on these sites. August 2012 data from Newtek Business Services found that Facebook is seeing more activity from small businesses. The survey of independent business owners in the US found that 47% of small businesses had a Facebook account.
Data from earlier in 2012 demonstrates the growth in the number of SMBs on Facebook. In March 2012, the SMB Group asked business decision-makers at small and medium-sized businesses in the US about which social media channels they used. Only 32% of small businesses and 38% of medium-sized businesses mentioned a Facebook page. The use of Facebook among small business increased from 26% in 2011 to 32% in 2012. However, the use of Facebook among medium business has stayed flat. Additionally, in January 2012, 72% of SMB marketers worldwide told the Social Media Examiner that they planned to increase their use of Facebook in the near future.
Mobile outreach is also on the radar for many US SMBs, as a Pontiflex survey conducted by Borrell Associates shows. Nearly half of respondents, 49%, said they were somewhat or very likely to incorporate mobile into their advertising and marketing, as of September 2012.
Small and medium-sized businesses often have a harder time jumping into social media and digital outreach because of the time and resources needed. But data shows they are participating in LinkedIn, Facebook and mobile outreach, among other platforms, and time will tell how this increased presence will affect their businesses and sales in the future.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Social Logins Can Simplify Online Shopping” and “Who Is the UK Mobile Shopper?”