A recent survey from the United States Chamber of Commerce revealed key insights into how small businesses are leveraging digital marketing. Entitled Examining the Impact of Technology on Small Business, it indicates that social media has become the preeminent way to promote and grow your business.
First off, the survey found that Facebook is the undisputed king of marketing. Of the one thousand small businesses questioned, more than 60% reported using the platform to grow their business, increase sales, and attract new customers.
If you already use Facebook regularly, this isn’t a surprising statistic. For those who haven’t leveraged the platform for their marketing, it may seem a little confusing as to why the “friend” website started by Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss Twins is such a juggernaut for small businesses. The Chamber of Commerce survey actually shines light on what makes Facebook so great. Above all, it’s the cost. Unless you have piles of cash lying around your office, your marketing budget is finite – and Facebook offers cheap options.
Also, Facebook has a user-friendly interface. This is relevant, as 57% of small businesses owners reported in the survey that they consider digital tools to be challenging.
So how are small business owners primarily using Facebook? In quite a few ways, actually. Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular strategies:
- 70% use it to attract new customers
- 56% use it to increase sales
- 52% use it to expand their reach
- 42% use it to attract new employees
The power of Facebook is such that nearly 40% of businesses actually prefer to send customers to their Facebook page, rather than have them go to their actual company website.
Another notable discovery from the survey is the apparent lack of skilled digital workers. More than 60% of small business owners reported that it was difficult to hire workers who had the necessary skills to manage their social media strategies. What this means is that many businesses feel they don’t have the capability to harness the latest digital strategies.
With this fact in mind, attracting and retaining employees should be a major focus. Entrepreneur recommends that if lucrative salaries aren’t an option, which is the case for many small businesses, you should look to your benefits to attract talent. Possible areas to consider include tuition reimbursement, a four-day workweek, paid vacation, discounted child-care, and telecommuting days. Whatever options you decide on, just know that if you can make your company more enticing, you’ll be able to bring in skilled workers who can help you capitalize on the major growth opportunities offered by social media marketing.