Verizon has released the findings of its fourth annual State of Small Business Survey. Conducted by business intelligence company Morning Consult, the study shows that as small and mid-sized businesses seek growth, more companies are demonstrating a heightened need for social-media marketing expertise and resources.
According to the findings, 77% of small to mid-sized businesses are currently using or planning to use social-media marketing to increase customer engagement and online traffic, with 69% of businesses reporting that access to free social-media marketing courses or available programs would be helpful to pursue outside of office hours.
In addition, 61% of small to mid-sized businesses agree that their operations would benefit from speaking with e-commerce experts who are well-versed in establishing digital presence and branding, as well as social-media engagement for a brand on a spectrum of channels from phone to chat and video.
When it comes to promoting products and connecting with customers, the findings show that Facebook remains the leading platform for small businesses, as almost half of the surveyed companies said that their business either started using or increased usage on the platform in the past year.
Instagram, another leading Meta-owned social platform, followed in popularity, with 39% of small business owners saying their business began using or increased usage in the past year, followed by LinkedIn (27%), TikTok (25%), and X (25%).
“Small and mid-sized businesses are demonstrating a pressing need for more resources and expertise in the realm of social media marketing to enhance their business presence and customer engagement,” the report states.
As small to midsize businesses prepare for a dynamic holiday retail season, the focus this year is on both online and in-store traffic,” the report continues. “Small to midsize businesses are embracing technology to address labor challenges and remote collaboration, and finding resources and expertise in areas such as social media marketing to enhance their digital presence. In the face of uncertainty, they are demonstrating their ability to adjust, innovate, and explore new avenues for growth and efficiency”