26 Promising Social Media Stats for Small Businesses

social media researchIs your small business “all in” with social media? New research shows incredible opportunity for small businesses.

Keep reading to discover why social media is changing small business for the better.

Six months ago, I highlighted many benefits of social media for small business, but several new research articles add urgency to this message.

Swiftly Changing Landscape

Social media marketing is a rapidly changing environment, as we all know. But the good news is that your customers are embracing social media as a normal part of their lives. Even the over-50 population is adapting at staggering rates.

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6 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results

social media researchHow much time are you spending on social media? Can you tell if it’s helping sales?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a framework for measuring the impact of your social media efforts?

That’s where Susan Etlinger’s new research for the Altimeter Group comes into play. Susan did qualitative research with 60 social media marketers and vendors to understand how businesses currently measure their social media performance.

Her goal: to develop a framework for tying social media performance to business goals.

NOTE: Because Susan’s original research targeted enterprise-level companies, I interviewed her to add some small business insights. The following comments combine results of the research and that interview.

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Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages: 2011 Winners!

social media viewpointsSmall businesses can stand out in a big way with Facebook. If you’re looking for some creative examples of Facebook pages from the small guys, look no further!

More than 1400 nominations came in from our contest.

Our panel of Facebook experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists, analyzing their landing pages, engagement, reader involvement and creative use of promotions (among other things).

None of these businesses have huge budgets, yet they have all achieved amazing success. The following are the winners of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages for 2011:

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9 Reasons Why Your Content Is Not Shared on Social Networks: New Research

social media researchDo you wonder how to get your content seen amidst a sea of information?

What if you could understand why your audience shares some information and not other? That would make your content stand out from the competition.

The Science of Sharing

30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month, including blog posts, links, news stories and photo albums.

HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella has found that three things must happen to get your content shared.

First, people must be exposed to your content (be a fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter). Second, they must be aware of your content (meaning they actually see it). Finally, they must be motivated by something in your content to share it.

Many articles have been written on how to increase your audience size and make people aware of your content, including these by Mari Smith and Denise Wakeman. This article will focus on the motivations for sharing.

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9 Reasons Your Company Should Use Brand Advocates: New Research

social media researchWhat would you say if you could add 5, 10, 100 or 1000 marketing reps to your team? For free?

What if these marketing reps would freely write about your brand and tell their friends and all they expect in return is recognition and access to insider information?

Who are these free marketers? Brand advocates. BzzAgent has recently released a new research study giving us the skinny on the habitat, behaviors and motivations behind brand advocates.

Who are brand advocates and what motivates them?

This careful study identifies many attributes of brand advocates. I’d like to discuss nine of them that will help you think through how to effectively engage advocates for your business.

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Social Media Spending Habits Rise, New Research Reveals

social media researchAre you wondering how other businesses are allocating their social media activities in relation to other marketing tasks?

This article reveals the findings of a few new research studies. What they found might surprise you.

Small Business Focusing Big Time on Social Media and Blogging

Small businesses are spending three times more on social media and blogs than larger businesses.

In HubSpot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing Report, researchers discovered that small businesses plan to spend 29% of their lead generation budget on social media and blogs. Asked the same question, medium to large businesses only plan to spend 9% on the same categories.

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Small Businesses Benefit Most From Social Media, Study Reveals

social media researchDo you wonder if you have what it takes to compete in the social media marketplace? Who, after all, has the time or the budget to mimic Disney or Starbucks? Certainly not a small business!

Well, maybe that’s the wrong set of questions.

In fact, the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report has some good news for small business marketers. Small business owners are seeing the greatest results from social media marketing.

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2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

social media researchHave you pondered any of these questions? “Where are my peers targeting their social media efforts? What benefits are they achieving? Where will they focus their future activities?”

Look no further.

All of the answers (and more) are right here in this free third-annual social media report.


Watch the above video for a quick summary.

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Most Marketers Clueless About Social Media Conversations

social media researchAlterian’s 8th annual survey of marketers examined the changes affecting marketing professionals today. The results below show a developing shift—one that’s moving away from the typical broadcasting we’ve seen in social media’s early days and moving more toward higher engagement.

According to the survey, marketers admit to struggling with customer engagement on multiple channels. This makes sense as many marketers are just beginning to experiment with more engagement efforts, one channel at a time.

In the near future, we’ll begin to see this single channel engagement morph into a more synergistic engagement effort over multiple channels. As we’ve seen with other social media trends, these shifts take time.

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