Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are investing more on social media marketing than any other form of traditional advertising, Ragan reports. According to a survey conducted by BIA/Kelsey, other forms of advertising – such as billboards and printed adverts – have decreased in popularity in recent times.
The survey questioned 550 SMBs all with fewer than 100 employees and asked them questions on their marketing practices. The survey found that three quarters of the businesses preferred to use social media as a means of promoting the company. The respondents also claimed to spend over 20% of their marketing budgets on social media spending this past year – with only 18.5% of the budget being spent on outdoor and print advertising.
The key social media platforms used by the SMBs questioned included Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Over half (55%) of the businesses questioned used Facebook pages and 31% used LinkedIn ads.
Despite the popularity of the channels, however, it is claimed that ROI from social media is still widely misunderstood. Just over one quarter of the survey respondents said they thought ROI from social media channels was “excellent” or “extraordinary”.
It seems that social media marketing and more traditional forms of advertising are beginning to mix, the article claims; whilst social media is being used to boost company engagement and awareness levels, businesses are starting to use the platforms to promote coupons, discounts and direct mail – all classed as more traditional forms of advertising.
The director of research at VIA/Kelsey, Steve Marshall, stated that social media is “convenient and user-friendly,” allowing users to “connect with their local market” – providing a wonderful platform for SMBs looking to connect more with the modern consumer.