There’s little doubt social media is an increasingly important tool for small businesses.
As IBJ reported in August, more than half of businesses with fewer than 100 employees regularly use social media to connect with customers, according to Massachusetts-based research firm SMB Group Inc. That’s up from 44 percent in 2011.
Carmel-based marketing firm Roundpeg’s annual survey of 400-plus area entrepreneurs offers a local take on the numbers—and a clearer picture of how they’re spending their time online.
Preliminary survey results released Wednesday (and set to be discussed on Roundpeg’s “More Than a Few Words” podcast at 10:30 a.m.) show more than 30 percent of small businesses devote at least an hour to social media each day.
Last year, just 18 percent reported spending that much time on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
But small-business owners and employees are trying to make better use of the time, focusing their efforts on the outlets most likely to deliver paying customers.
“While they once had tried to maintain a presence everywhere, in 2012 companies realized they couldn’t do it all,” Roundpeg concluded.
So business-to-business firms tended to concentrate their efforts on professional networking site LinkedIn, for example, while consumer-focused entities identified the more social Facebook as their primary network.
Roundpeg will continue gathering data through March before putting together a white paper on the subject.
What do you think of the early results? What kind of impact does social media have on your business? Is it worth the effort?