It’s no surprise that most small businesses are using social media these days. Despite frustrations with algorithm changes commonly made by Facebook and similar companies, these types of platforms give businesses a chance to gain very targeted eyeballs that other formats simply cannot provide.
Clutch, which collects client feedback and analyzes industry data to provide marketing solutions, recently released a report looking at how small businesses use social media in 2018 and found that over half of them do so daily. The firm surveyed over 350 small business owners to learn about the social platforms they use, how often they post, and the types of content they share.
Over 70 percent of those surveyed use social media, and 52 percent share something on at least one social platform once a day. 47 percent of business owners began using social media before 2017.
Interestingly, women-owned businesses are more (74 percent) likely to use social media than men-owned businesses (66 percent). According to Clutch, this reflects the fact that more women use social media in general compared to men. When it comes to age, more millennial small business owners (79 percent) use social media for their business than older generations. The firm attributes this to a “greater comfort level with social media.”
“Generation X and baby boomer business owners have lived – and possibly run businesses – before the age of social networks, so this group doesn’t always see the need for social media,” Clutch says in its report.
Facebook is unsurprisingly the most popular social platform among small business owners. It’s the most-used channel with 86 percent of those polled using it. That’s almost twice the number using the second-most-used channel, which is Instagram (48 percent). Instagram, however, is owned by and connected to Facebook.
It will be interesting to see how businesses deal with recent changes Facebook has made to its algorithm. Earlier this year, a change went into effect, which was designed to show users more content from friends and family, as well as groups they’re in. This means content from business pages will be seen less, though sponsored posts have long been the best way to ensure visibility.
As far as content that businesses are sharing, infographics and images are more popular than text, according to Clutch’s findings. 54 percent prefer to share this visual content because “people process images better than text,” according to the firm. Considering that Instagram is the second most popular sharing platform (and it may gain some ground in light of the aforementioned algorithm change), image sharing is bound to increase.
Other social platforms businesses are using include YouTube (46 percent), Twitter (44 percent), LinkedIn (31 percent), and Snapchat (25 percent). 12 percent use Facebook exclusively.
Social media is second on the list of priorities when it comes to where small businesses are spending their digital marketing dollars. Clutch released a separate report looking at digital marketing spend, finding that while websites are still the top priority for 54 percent of business owners polled, 51 percent cited social media as the priority.
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