In the latest report from our Business Social Media Benchmarking Study research, "Engaging Small Business Decision Makers Through Social Media," we address a key question on the minds of companies marketing to small business:
What are the best social media channels for reaching and engaging with small business decision makers?
The answer, it turns out, depends very significantly on the industry you target for your company's products or services, whether or not you target business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) companies and, at small businesses with 10-99 employees, the job level of your target decision maker (e.g., middle-management vs. senior management vs. C-level).
The results we report are based on insights from over 1,700 participants in a middle management (Director, Department Head, Supervisor) or above role in a small business (<100 employees) in the US or Canada. All of these study participants currently use one or more social media resources for business-relevant information in their day-to-day job. Here are some of the key findings:
- Overall, the most popular social media resources small business decision makers turn to for business are webinars and podcasts, user ratings and reviews of business products and services, and business profiles (accounts, fan pages, channels, etc.) on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites.
- Small business decision makers are attracted to the speed and convenience with which they can find or request business-relevant information from social media channels. For example, webinars save the time and expense of travel for professional education.
- Industry has a major impact on both the number of social media resources used for business and the most popular types. For example, small business decision makers in the Healthcare, Retail and Legal industries use significantly fewer social media resources for business than study respondents from other industries.
- Within small businesses, company size (sole proprietor vs. micro-business with 1-9 employees vs. small business with 10-99 employees) and job role or department in a company aren't related to business social media usage in any meaningful way.
- We can gain some very interesting insights into the likely evolution of business social media usage by looking across industries and at small business decision makers with different levels of social media experience.
Visit /general/social-media/ to download a copy of the complete 40 pg. report with 32 charts.