Study: Small businesses increasingly use social media, but concerns remain

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Herndon, Va.—Small businesses are adopting social media marketing at twice the rate of a year ago, according to a study by digital marketing services company Network Solutions and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

According to the organizations’ most recent “Small Business Success Index,” social media usage among businesses of fewer than 100 employees increased to 24%, up from 12% a year earlier. The most common approach is putting up a page on a social networking site, but a majority also participated in LinkedIn and monitored feedback about their companies on social networks.

A roadblock to small-business adoption of social marketing, according to half the respondents, is that marketing results via the channel, including identifying new customers, take longer than expected. And 17% are wary that social media gives customers an opportunity to criticize their businesses.

The telephone survey of 500 small-business owners was conducted in December.

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