Despite the hype surrounding social media, SMBs invest a large chunk of capital on email – still restores a larger share of marketing spend than any of its contemporaries this year. Small and midsize businesses are allocating the largest share of their marketing budgets to email, with more than half spending up to 20% of their total marketing dollars on email marketing efforts. Also, they have more confidence/use Email marketing was ranked third (78%)than social media (60%).
Although social media has become an integral part of business, the majority of small businesses feel like it’s a waste of time, according to a survey released April 16 by Manta, USA Today reports. Out of the surveyed 1,200 small business, 61% of small businesses aren’t seeing a return on their social media activities.
Social Media, Highlights from the study
79% are also optimistic about their business prospects in Q2 2013. Only about 5% of small business owners plan to hire new staff this spring. But, nearly 26% small business owners are investing in social media, online advertising and marketing.
Social media involvement is escalating in the small business community. Nearly 50% of SMBs have increased time spent on social media compared to a year ago. More than one in three small business owners dedicate between one and three hours each week managing their social media channels, while 10 percent spend more than 10 hours.
“As a highly pragmatic and time-constrained group, small business owners are strategically adopting platforms that show real results for their business,” said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. “However, social media is not a stationary phenomenon. As SMBs shift from the experimental stage to a results-focused phase, their social media usage will evolve to maximize the value.”
Interestingly, small business owners are taking initiatives to learn more about social media. Whereas only 18% of SMBs ask for social media help from third-party experts, 36% turn to online resources. The study observes that this hard work isn’t really paying off well as 61% of respondents answered “no” when they were asked whether they see ROI from company’s online activities. On the contrary, nearly 40% of them agreed that they get return on their investment (ROI), with 30% are reported to see returns greater than $2,000.
Also, 36% of SMBs indicate the primary goal of using social media is to acquire and engage with new customers.
However, as the social media presence grows obstacles hinders. 18% of SMBs find Facebook as “hardest to maintain”, followed by LinkedIn (10) and Twitter (9%).
However this contradicts with a recent poll of Orlando Business Journal readers, LinkedIn and Facebook were said to be the most beneficial to their business, while Google+ and Twitter were the least beneficial. (Note: This poll is not a scientific sampling, but offers a quick view of what readers are thinking.)