The value of social media for small businesses

By Kristen Herhold

Social media may be a relatively new technology, but more than two billion people across the world use it. Because so many people are on social media, businesses also see the importance of using it to reach consumers. Sopme 71% of small businesses use social media, a number that keeps growing, according to a recent survey from research firm Clutch. Social media is essential for businesses of all sizes.

More Millennial-Owned Businesses Use Social Media

Although most businesses use social media, companies owned by millennials are more likely to have social media accounts. 79% of millennial-owned businesses use social media, compared to 65% of business owners older than 35. Millennial-owned businesses are also more likely to use every platform except LinkedIn. More millennials are on social media for their personal use, which explains why more of their businesses also have social media. Older generations, who are less likely to use social media for their own personal use, don’t see the necessity of social media the way millennials do.

Women-Owned Businesses More Likely to Use Social Media

Women (74%) are more likely than men (66%) to use social media for their business. Just like millennial-owned businesses, women-owned businesses are more likely to use social media because women are more likely to use social media for their personal use. When running a business, many people tend to value the familiar – and more millennials and women are familiar with social media.

Businesses Prefer Facebook

Facebook remains the most popular social media channel for businesses – 86%use the platform, nearly double second-place Instagram (48%). Facebook is expected to remain popular, despite the recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal. According to The Manifest, 58 percent of small businesses plan to increase their investment in Facebook in 2018. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal did not heavily influence businesses’ view of the importance of reaching consumers through Facebook.

Businesses Post Social Media Content Every Day

Having a consistent, frequent social media schedule is also important to small businesses. 52% of small businesses post on social media every day. Just 6% of small businesses post less often than monthly, showing the importance of posting regularly.





Images Most Common Social Media Content

Businesses post to social media regularly, but what are they posting? The most common types of content small businesses post on social media are images/infographics (54%), offers/promotions (52%), and reviews (49%). Images are the most popular content types because they grab consumers’ attention and appeal to them. Visual content interests consumers and is easier to process.


Social Media is Essential

If you want to go to where your customer is, it’s on social media. If you want to reach consumers quickly and affordably, it’s on social media. If you want to keep up with the latest communication and advertising trends, it’s on social media. It’s 2018; businesses need to be on social media no matter how big or small they are. There’s no excuse.

Kristen Herhold is a content writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in of Washington, DC.

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