Very Small Businesses Use Social Media, But Not So Well

Most very small businesses (VSBs) are using social media, but they don’t usually have a strategy or even clearly defined goals, according to a new survey from Endurance, which provides Web site hosting services and polled its subscribers on their social media use. 

Among Endurance’s VSB subscribers, 90% said they currently have a social media presence on at least one platform. No surprise, Facebook was the clear winner, used by 87% of VSBs, followed by Twitter at 53%, LinkedIn at 50%, and YouTube and Google+, both at 36%. Further down the list were Pinterest, with 20%, and Instagram, with 15%.

No surprise, in most cases the person in charge of social media (80%) was the business owner him- or herself. However 72% of very small business owners acknowledged that “we don’t have a plan, we just publish when we feel like it,” and 76% said they “post to social media when we have the time.”

That may be because the most popular use for social media among VSB owners is as a channel to get updates and news about their business, with 39% saying they use it this way very often and 34% using it this way occasionally. The second most popular use was posting promotions, coupons, and special offers, with 30% using it this way often and 29% occasionally. Also popular was responding to customer questions and concerns, with 30% using it for this often and 26% occasionally.

In terms of future goals, 64% of VSB owners said they wanted to get more likes or followers, 53% would like to learn best practices in social media marketing, 43% would like to share promotions with followers, 42% would like to write relevant content to publish on social media, and 35% want to curate relevant content to publish on social media.

Endurance also asked its VSB subscribers which social network, among the networks they’re currently not using, they’d be most interested in learning more about; here 25% said they wanted to learn more about Twitter, the same proportion for Instagram, 24% for Google+, 22% for Pinterest, and 20% for LinkedIn.

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