SMBs to Spend More on Social Media

Yesterday, I cited a new BIA/​Kelsey study which reported that small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are allocating a larger percentage of their marketing budgets to digital, especially social media. Another report out from VerticalResponse shows exactly how much time the average SMB owner is spending on social media. For many, the savings they might be realizing from lower traditional media spending is being shifted to staff time needed manage the effort.

Social media has quickly become one more demand on the time of the busy SMB CEO. With up to 66% of these businesses owners spending more time on the effort, 43% say they’re allocating 6 hours a week to social media.  At least 1/​3 of these individuals believe their time could be better spent.

Typical social media activities include daily Facebook posts (17%), daily Tweets (21%), daily/​weekly LinkedIn posts (13%), and daily/​weekly posts to Google+ and/​or Pinterest (9%). The biggest challenge for SMBs is finding and posting content to social media sites. Blogs are particularly time consuming with 45% of SMBs reporting that they spend between 1–3 hours writing their posts.

Other common social media activities for businesses include learning and education, analyzing their efforts, watching competitors, and interacting with consumers (answering questions, etc.) One way to cut down on the time commitments for some SMBs has been investing in publishing/​analytical tools. About 36% are paying for these tools with 57.5% paying at least $26 a month.

This survey also shows that 29% of SMBs have upped their marketing budget this year. And, 22% have bumped up their social media budget. VerticalResponse analysts say their data suggests that any SMB  which increases its marketing budget is likely doing so for social media purposes.  Opportunities here for traditional media companies may be found in helping SMBs navigate the social media world or developing content for them.

For another perspective on the advertising intent of SMBs, check out the 2012 Small Business Marketing Forecast available at the Research Store on Ad​-ology​.com.

Source: Survey Shows Small Businesses Investing More in Social Media. Verticalresponse​.com. 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2012] 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.