Over the last year we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of activity and energy our small business clients have directed toward social media.   Our annual survey this summer indicated a strong increase, but new research by Zoomerang indicates the trend is even stronger then we imagined.

In a study of more than 1,180 small- to mid-sized business (SMB) decision-makers, Zoomerang learned the following: (my thoughts on each of the points are in italics)

  • Nearly half of the surveyed SMBs utilize social media to market to customers – 50% of your competitors are using social media.  Are you? 
  • The top three reasons SMBs use social networks are connecting with customers, visibility and self promotion – In our study, we found business owners were also interested in finding information and demonstrating information
  • The top three things businesses want to know from customers via Facebook are: customer satisfaction with products/services, customer satisfaction with service provided, and ideas for new business promotions – while this is helpful, you need to keep in mind that customers don’t often know what they might want, so you can not rely exclusively on this type of research to anticipate future trends. 
  • Two-thirds of the small businesses surveyed are not advertising on Facebook  – With the ability to really target your ads to very  niche communities Facebook offers affordable advertising options  for small business owners, so I am surprised this is so low. 

You can download a free copy of  the entire study here. 

Reading the study has peaked my curiosity, and I can’t wait to get started on our 2012 study to see what else has changed.