Small businesses have embraced social media marketing in a big way, but aren’t nearly as keen on location-based social media like Foursquare, according to a new survey from Constant Contact, which provides digital marketing services to small biz owners.
An impressive 97% of small business owners told Constant Contact that they are using social media channels of one kind or another, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. And 66% said they are using mobile marketing, including ads delivered to smartphones and tablets, Web sites optimized for mobile devices, or text messages. By contrast, just 17% said they are using location-based social media like Foursquare to market their business.
Meanwhile another survey of small business owners by Staples also found that Facebook and Twitter were the most popular social media marketing channels. In terms of goals, Staples found their main purpose is engaging customers -- endorsed by half of the respondents -- followed by increasing sales (46%) and raising brand awareness (44%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, small business owners don’t consider themselves social media marketing experts by any means, with 53% characterizing themselves as novices or completely ignorant of its potential benefits. On the other hand, 40% said that social media has benefited their companies.
Staples also announced a contest that aims to encourage small businesses to adopt digital media, with $50,000 prizes for three small businesses and paid digital marketing services for one grand prize winner. Companies who want to enter the Staples “Push It Forward” contest are asked to submit a 75-word essay (that seems more like a paragraph) describing what they would do with the prize money.