Small Business Big Impact

As a small business marketing firm,we’ve seen firsthand the big impact an effective social media program can have. But most of our information was anecdotal, and we wanted to understand how social media was being used on a wider scale. We began to look for more studies on how companies were using social media—and their results. While many surveys have looked into how consumers and large companies use social media, fewer have examined the use of social media by small companies. It was that lack of data which drove us to conduct several surveys in mid-2010.

In the world of social media, a year is a long time, and the social landscape can change dramatically. It’s time to see what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and where we’re heading in the future.   In this follow-up survey, small businesses are defined as companies with 1-50 employees. It is important to note this survey did not attempt to measure the number of small businesses using social media, but rather how existing social business users are employing the tools.

This small business social media survey was conducted entirely online from May 1 – July 1, 2011. As you may know, Google Plus launched in late June, and was not included as a choice in the study. Links to the survey were sent via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and email. It was also publicized on and We received 243 responses.How do you compare to your fellow small business owners?

Click here to download the white paper.   Please share the link with others via facebook or twitter.  After you have read through the results, we would love to know what surprised you the most.

This was also the topic of my presentation at Blog Indiana, and if you would like a copy of the slides, you can download them from slideshare.

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  • This study gives a wonderful insight on current trends in social media use for business. The impact of social media on business, like many marketing programs, is difficult to measure. Having clear goals and a consistent strategy are critical to a successful social media presence.

    I am reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, “CRUCH IT!” In it he tells a story about offering free shipping via four different marketing mediums – billboard, radio, direct mail and Twitter. The billboard delivered two hundred and seventy orders. Radio brought in two hundred and forty orders. Through the direct mail campaign about three hundred orders came in. A free Tweet on Twitter brought in seventeen hundred orders in forty-eight hours.

    Social media is extremely powerful. Thanks for a great study.

  • Great analysis! I encourage everyone to download this report.

    I was most surprised by gender differences in platform usages. In particular, the study explained that the second most popular network among men was LinkedIn, but among women the number two network is Twitter. This is valuable insight that businesses should review carefully.

    Perhaps a future version can study language and behavior patterns on social media, with regard to dimensions such as age, gender and industry.

    Fantastic work, Roundpeg!

  • Utilizing social media is the most powerful tool in the world of marketing today. Everyone should read this important report.

  • Tom, Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to have to check out Cruch It.

    Robby – When we get ready to do the next study, I would love to pick your brain on specific questions we should ask.

  • Andy Hollandbeck

    Just wanted to note a small error in the presentation that I hope you will fix. In the Strategy & Budget graph on p. 16 of the PDF, the colors in the graph’s legend don’t match up with the colors of the bars in the graph, and it’s a little confusing.

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  • Bill Redmond

    Great information from Roundpeg on Social Media.  Good primmer for this novice.

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