The State of Social Media for Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Maria Peagler

Apr 28

We posed questions to members (almost 300 of them!) to take the pulse of social media for small business in 2014.  Some results were expected, while others were shocking.  All are shown in the infographic below.  (Following the infographic is a brief explanation of the finding for each question) state of social media for small business

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Majority of Small Business Owners Do Have a Website


Most small business owner do have their own website, which is big jump from 2011, when less than 50% did (according to the SBA).  That means more entrepreneurs sare making the transition from traditional marketing to digital.  It’s also a positive step in owning your space online: social networks may change, but you own your website and your domain, and can control its look, feel, and what you share on it.

More Business-to-Consumer Brands Use Social Media

b2c It’s no surprise that more business-to-consumer brands (B2C) use social media, as far more social networks exist for those channels.  Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are definitely stronger in the B2C market, while LinkedIn, Twitter, and Slideshare are focused more on the B2B space. Google, Google+, and YouTube cross both spectrums.

Are Your Clients Mostly Women?

pinterest The response to this question was surprising:  women are more active on social networks, and Pinterest is primarily a social network for women.  But a clear 63% of members said that women were not the majority of their clients.  Greater than half of small brands reach out to both men and women in their marketing.

Everyone Watches YouTube

youtube YouTube remains the biggest missed opportunity for small business, as over 98% of members have watched a video there, but fewer than 10% actually use video marketing.   Brands can learn to record and produce video quickly with smartphones, webcams, and even use YouTube’s built-in editing features to get started marketing their business with video.

Search Engine Rank is Essential

google Ranking highly in search engine results is critical to small brands for growing their business, as a clear 87% responded it was important. However, SEO services remain out of reach to small business budgets, with the average SEO project costing $4,000 (according to  Entrepreneurs can improve their own SEO rankings by focusing on their domain names, content marketing, and earning high quality links to their websites.

Few Brands Give Presentations, Workshops, or Lectures

slideshare Only 36% of small business owners give presentations, workshops or lectures.  Educational marketing offer a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach a wider audience, provide “infotainment,” and build their client list.

Both B2B and B2C brands can benefit:  Fun Finds and Designs, a retail consignment store in Canton, GA, gives monthly how-to workshops in their store.  Here at we repurpose many of our infographics and webinars into excerpts on – both are great marketing tools.

Small Business Needs Influencer Outreachtwitter

A little more than half — 57% — of small brands said they need to get the attention of influencers in their industry.  Twitter is an excellent, low-maintenance way to do influencer outreach, yet many entrepreneurs still see Twitter as a celebrity social network.

While the definition of an influencer will vary from one industry to another, you’re quite likely to find those key players on Twitter engaging in multiple conversations daily.  Brands should be on Twitter, focusing on their industry influencers, and engaging in those conversations.

Tip: a great way to group conversations by industry in both Twitter and Hootsuite is to use a list.  You can have separate lists for the media, vendors, potential joint venture (JV) partners, and more.

Biggest Challenge Facing Small Brands: How to Start with Social Media?


The top challenge facing small brands is this: they’re overwhelmed, with 48% responding they don’t where to start.  Almost every brand assumes they need Facebook: in reality, only those B2C businesses or those using Facebook regularly will benefit.

Few brands have a clear strategy, and usually don’t know the questions to ask to develop one.  (Register for the free Social Media Strategy class on the Home page to build your own strategy.)

A close second is being faced with far too many social networks, and not knowing which one holds the best potential for their business.  Too many brands feel the need to be everywhere, and end up burned out and frustrated over a watered-down presence not generating results.

The third challenge facing small brands is not seeing a return on their investment (ROI).  Not surprisingly, if brands are unsure where to start or which online platform will perform best for them, their ROI will suffer.  It’s critical to develop a strategy, identify your highest potential social network (take the quiz from our Home page), and measure results over time.

Action Steps: How to Capitalize on These Results

What can you take away from these results to improve your own marketing?

  • If you don’t already have a website, you need to get one
  • No matter who your audience is, there’s a social network for you
  • Every business should start video marketing in 2014. You’ll see improved search engine rank and increased traffic to your website.
  • Educational marketing offers major opportunities to build your brand
  • Search Engine Optimization is important, and small brands can do basic SEO themselves
  • Influencer outreach can be simple & low-maintenance on Twitter
  • Develop and clarify your marketing strategy and your highest potential social network

About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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(9) comments

Gary Starkman April 29, 2014

I don’t understand how anyone who has a business doesn’t have a website. It goes hand in hand.

    Maria Peagler May 1, 2014

    Gary – Many new entrepreneurs don’t want to go to the expense of having a website and don’t know who to rely on to get one. This is a big improvement over 50% not having one just a few years ago.

    Thanks for your comment!

Marybeth Thomas Tawfik April 29, 2014

Whew! Lots of info!


Maria Peagler May 3, 2014

Marybeth – one step at a time! I’m a huge believer in taking things slowly. Great to see you here on the blog!


[…] Infographic courtesy of SocialMediaOnlineClasses […]


[…] vient de publier une infographie consacrée à l’utilisation des médias sociaux en 2014 par les PME. La plupart des entreprises participantes (73%) ont un site internet contre 50% en 2011, ce qui est très révélateur de la transition d’un marketing traditionnel vers une hybridation du numérique dans les stratégies principales. Le challenge principal des PME se situe en amont de leurs stratégies numérique. En effet, 48% d’entres elles déclarent ne pas savoir par où commencer dans l’élaboration d’une stratégie social media ! Fait intéressant, toutes semblent indiquer qu’elles ont besoin de Facebook, ce qui en réalité n’est pas vrai car seulement celles utilisant de manière optimale Facebook et en créant un véritable contenu à destination de leurs clients auront un réel bénéfice. En outre, 57% des entreprises interrogées déclarent qu’elles ont un véritable besoin d’intermédiation par des influenceurs de leur secteur d’activité et semblent se destiner à l’utilisation de Twitter en ce sens. Enfin, le SEO reste considéré comme l’enjeu principal dans les stratégies (87%). En effet, bien se positionner dans les Serps de Google est crucial pour les PME afin de gagner en parts de marché. Cependant les prestations SEO semblent hors de portée des PME avec un budget moyen de 4000$ selon […]


[…] apreciar el potencial de internet y los Social Media para impulsar su negocio. El informe a modo de infografía publicado por Socialmediaonlineclasses, muestra qué herramientas son las más utilizadas por las […]


[…] apreciar el potencial de internet y los Social Media para impulsar su negocio. El informe a modo de infografía publicado por Socialmediaonlineclasses, muestra qué herramientas son las más utilizadas por las […]


Social Media presence is an essential whether you have a small or big business. But I agree that the foremost requirement is having a website. Also the idea of video marketing and SEO is good but I think with some pre-planned strategies. Thanks for the information!

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