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Growing SMB Social Media Marketing Usage


eMarketer reports that U.S. small and medium businesses (SMBs) are adopting social media marketing in greater numbers, according to a market study by Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland.

Social media usage increased to 24 percent, from 12 percent the year before.

It's interesting to note that the most common usage of social media among small business was a company page on a social networking site, followed by posting status updates.

SMB expectations of social media are in line with their experiences, although they are not quite as successful as they had hoped.

Survey respondent's top accomplishments were customer acquisition and placing their own businesses within the market, but did not meet expectations fully.

Social media's capabilities for staying engaged with consumers and collaborating with other businesses, however, were more in line with user expectations.

Most SMBs say they are breaking even with their current usage of social media, but one-fifth find it profitable already. Nearly one-half believe it will make them money in the next 12 months, and another 39 percent think they will break even. Just 9 percent think social marketing will result in a loss.

Overall, 58 percent of respondents believe that social media lived up to their expectations. One-half felt it took up more time than they realized, but only 6 percent claimed negative comments on social media had hurt their business.

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