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For Most Small Businesses, Social Is Top Marketing Tactic

More than 40% of SMBs lean on social media ads for brand awareness, revenue generation

November 29, 2016

Social media is a key online marketing tool for small businesses. According to a recent poll, more than half of small business owners in the US said social media is their primary digital marketing tactic, far more than those who cited websites or online advertisements.

Primary Digital vs. Offline Marketing Tactics Used by US Small-Business Owners, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

In September, Vistaprint Digital surveyed 1,001 small business owners in the US about their online and offline marketing mix. The majority of those polled came from companies that had fewer than 10 employees.

More than half (or 53.3%) of respondents said they mainly use social media to market their organization online. Another almost a third of small business owners said they use their websites. Other tactics like online ads and directory listings fell far short with only 6.6% and 5.0%, respectively, of those polled.

Meanwhile, when it comes to offline marketing tactics, business cards were the overwhelming majority with 51.1%.

When it comes to online marketing, other research also points out small businesses' preference for social media, even in advertising. Magisto, a video editing software firm, reported in October that more than 40% of small and medium-sized businesses in the US count on social media ads for brand awareness and revenue generation.

Advertising and marketing are no less important for small businesses than for major corporations, even if they don't have the luxury of dedicated departments. Earlier this year, a survey by the National Small Business Association found that almost half of the small business owners polled said that advertising and marketing would be a major driver for growth.

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