Facebook is the #1 hardest platform to maintain for small businesses followed by LinkedIn and Twitter—that according to a recent nationwide survey of more than 1,200 small business owners conducted by Manta.com as part of their Q1 Small Business Wellness Index.
Using Social Media to Attract New Customers
Not surprisingly, 55% of small business owners indicated acquiring and engaging new customers and lead generation as their top two primary goals for using social media.
On the flip side, only 2% reported using social media to retain current customers. For me, that represents a real missed opportunity.
I know it can be awfully tempting to want to focus on attracting new customers, but that doesn’t mean you can totally forget about your existing customers—especially when it comes to social media.
Instead of always trying to focus on making the sale, you should also look for opportunities to use your social media platforms as a way to create an ongoing dialogue with both groups.
Generating Social Media ROI
Lured by the potential of generating a compelling return on investment (ROI), social media adoption continues to grow amongst members of the small business community.
Over the past 12 months, nearly 50% of respondents reported increasing the amount of time they spent on social media.
More than one in three small business owners dedicate between one and three hours each week managing their social media channels, while 10% spend more than 10 hours.
Struggling with Social Media Maintenance
As more and more small business owners look to establish their social media presence, many are also finding it difficult to keep up. Nearly one in five (18%) reported struggling with maintaining their Facebook profile, compared to only 9% for Twitter.
Given the sheer number of people and businesses already on Facebook (with more and more being added every day) and EdgeRank, the algorithm Facebook uses to determine where and when your posts will appear on the news feeds of your followers, small business owners must have a solid social media strategy in place if they are going to get the most out the platform.
Looking for more insights? Check out the complete survey results and infographic from Manta's Q1 Small Business Wellness Index.
How much time do you spend each week on social media activities?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user birgerking]