New Survey Shows Entrepreneurs Could Make Better Use of Social Media

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A new survey from The Alternative Board reveals how small business owners approach social media – and how they could be managing it more effectively.

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Without a full picture of the impact of social media, business owners cannot fully comprehend its value. – Jodie Shaw

A recent study from The Alternative Board revealed that 64% of small business owners are monitoring their social media accounts only one time per week or less, with 22% of entrepreneurs only checking their social channels a few times a year. Why are business owners spending so little time on this highly valuable, yet cost-effective marketing tool?

According to 59% of the entrepreneurs surveyed, social media is merely an accessory to their business, not an essential function. A surprising 18% of business owners report having no social media presence at all.

“Six percent of small business owners are still using vanity metrics (shares, likes, views) as a way to measure ROI for social media, and 43% are not measuring ROI at all,” says The Alternative Board’s Chief Marketing Officer Jodie Shaw. “Without a full picture of the impact of social media, business owners cannot fully comprehend its value.”

That stats reveal just how little focus business owners are dedicating to social media. For instance, the large majority of those surveyed (67%) are putting their social media channels in the hands of beginner to intermediate users – not experts.

Perhaps business owners aren’t observing the full value of social media, because they aren’t devoting enough resources to it. “More small business owners than not (59%) are managing their own social media channels,” says Shaw. “By hiring experts to take that task off their hands, they’re likely to see greater results and win back time for what they really should be focusing on – strategic planning.”

Despite their reluctance to build out their brand via social media, business owners do report social channels advancing their company’s strategic goals, citing LinkedIn as the most effective (38%) over Facebook (32%), Google+ (17%), and Twitter (6%).

“LinkedIn presents business owners with an opportunity to connect with other business owners and build profitable partnerships,” says Shaw. “These numbers show business owners are focusing their social media efforts more on business development than reaching their customer base.”

The Alternative Board is the world’s largest provider of peer-to-peer advisory boards, representing over 3,000 entrepreneurs internationally. For full survey results, executive summary or to schedule an interview with Jodie Shaw, contact Lynn Maleh at lynn(at)contentfac(dot)com.

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Lynn Maleh
@TAB_Boards
since: 05/2009
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The Alternative Board (Worldwide)

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