Commentary

SMBs Still Favor Facebook

More small and medium-sized businesses are adopting social media for advertising and customer relations, but they remain fairly conservative in their choice of social networks and also stick to simple metrics for gauging their success online, according to a new survey by Clutch, cited by eMarketer.

Facebook was far and away the most popular social network for SMBs, used by 89% of the 201 businesses surveyed by Clutch. Twitter was a distant second, used by 49%, followed by LinkedIn at 42%, Pinterest at 31%, Instagram at 28%, Snapchat at 11%, Vine at 8%, Medium and reddit, both at 6%, and Periscope at 4%.

While there’s no single dominant approach to measuring social media, SMBs stick to basic metrics including views, at 51%; posts and interactions, both at 34%; audience growth, at 32%; and shares, at 30%. Only 28% of SMBs surveyed said they try to connect social media activity to revenue generating, and 22% said they measure success in terms of conversions. Even fewer, 14%, connect social media success to brand image.

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These data suggest that SMBs are actually in the same boat as bigger companies. Previously, I wrote about a survey of 600 social media marketers conducted by TrustRadius on behalf of Simply Measured, which found that most were using the same kinds of proxy metrics, with 80% citing “engagement” as reflected in number of likes, followers, shares, and so on. By contrast just 24% were tying social media efforts to revenue outcomes. In the same survey 60% of respondents cited “measuring ROI” as their number one challenge in social media marketing.

Similarly, last month I wrote about the most recent CMO Survey from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, in which just 11.5% of respondents (all senior execs from big companies) said they have proven social media marketing’s impact quantitatively. Meanwhile 40.6% said they a qualitative sense of the impact, and fully 47.9% said they haven’t been able to show any impact at all.

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