There’s a big disconnect between consumer expectations and reality when it comes to small businesses and social media, according to a new survey from YouGov on behalf of Enplug, a digital signage maker. The survey of 506 small businesses and 1,155 consumers found that consumers respond positively to small businesses with social media presences, but small business owners still lag behind in their social media presence.
On the consumer side, YouGov and Enplug found that 63% of Facebook users said they would view a small business more favorably after seeing a positive review on its profile, as would 76% of Instagram users and 70% of Pinterest users. However 36% of small businesses surveyed said they don’t maintain a social media presence where users can comment on their business, and 34% don’t think social media can provide any value for their businesses, period.
Enplug CEO Nanxi Liu noted “it’s now a consumer expectation that not only can they learn about a business on social media, but that they can talk with the business -- whether it’s to troubleshoot a problem or simply give praise.”
Previous surveys have documented the social media shortcomings of small and medium-sized business. Last year I wrote about a survey of small business owners by Endurance, which found that 72% of business owners said 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.”
Just 30% were using social media to post promotions, coupons, and special offers frequently, while 29% did so occasionally.
On the positive side, another survey from B2B marketer Cargo found that 64% are using social media for business-related purposes. Facebook was the most popular platform, cited by 74%, followed by 45.8% for Twitter.