There are about 1.3 million small and medium businesses in North America and they generate approximately…wait for it…$5.5 TRILLION in annual revenue! According to a study done recently by LinkedIn, social media is quickly becoming the main component on which business growth is based on. LinkedIn surveyed close to 1,000 businesses and set out to investigate how small businesses are using social media and if their investment is providing its worth.
LinkedIn partnered up with the market research firm TNS to ask the decision makers of small to medium businesses, with $1 million to $50 million in revenue, how they used social media. The study revealed that 81 percent of the businesses use social media to drive their growth, while 94 percent use it as a marketing tool. The number one issue facing small businesses is attracting new clients, and 61 percent of them believe social media is helping them solve that very problem. 49 percent of those asked said they use social media for educational purposes and to gain business insight. 9 percent said they intended to use social media in the near future. And 90 percent of these companies called social media effective in building awareness.
LinkedIn’s study also delved into the types of shares that are most valuable to consumers. 79 percent said they seek industry-specific news, with testimonials and reviews following closely behind. Consumers enjoy reading feedback from both customers and experts in their industry and the study revealed that small to medium businesses prefer practical guides and news article about other companies. LinkedIn’s study was focused specifically on businesses that are in “hyper growth mode, meaning they report a significant increase in overall revenue compared to last year.” These types of businesses are increasing their social marketing budgets at an incredibly fast pace, about 73 percent more than the previous year.
Finally, LinkedIn’s study suggests that the impact of social media on how small to medium businesses determine their financial providers is high. Two out of three businesses use social media to gain insight into financial education or research ways to purchase financial products. This means there is a big market for financial institution to reach out and connect with small business owners though social media channels.
For each and every company, style and channels used for social media outreach will differ. But one thing is clear from LinkedIn’s study: Social media is here to stay!
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Using Social Media to Launch Your New Product“. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!