A small business is one that has less than 500 employees, which doesn’t really sound that small. But of the 28 million SMBs in the US, 22 million are single person companies who are juggling everything from sales to marketing to service. For these companies, social media can be the key to keeping in touch with customers.
LinkedIn conducted a survey of 998 SMBs in the U.S. and Canada and discovered that 81% of SMBs are using social media. Mostly, they see it as a way of maintaining brand presence and for lead generation.
Now we get a little chicken or the egg-y:
3 our of 5 businesses in the survey were in growth mode – they had an increase in revenue year over year. 1 in 6 was in “hyper growth” mode, which means a significant growth in revenue. 73% of those hyper-growth folks increased their spend on social media.
LinkedIn says this shows a high correlation between hyper-growth and social media usage but I’m not sure that’s totally true.
First off, three cheers for the success of small business. I feel for the 2 out of 5 that saw their revenue drop year over year but that’s life – not everyone is going to make it. But it’s great to see that not only are most businesses growing, a few are blowing it out of the water. (Target, I love you, but I love SMBs more.)
So growth leads to social media spend. . . probably because that’s the easiest way to market on the fly. Think about it. You’re selling Pink Widgets and suddenly there’s a huge demand for Blue Widgets. You make them but it’s too late to change the postcard you had printed or the newspaper ad, but you can go on Facebook right now and send out a blast to all of your followers. Blue Widgets Are Now Available. 20% off if you buy more than 10. If you sell out of Blue Widgets you can go on Twitter and let your customers know that they’re out of stock until next month.
On the fly is the small business way, especially one that’s growing faster than the company can meet to discuss it. It’s vital and alive and that’s why I love start-ups. Hey, sometimes you’re driving a sinking speed boat but it’s exciting while on top.
So here’s my end of the week advice. Take the weekend off. Spend time with the people you love and clear your brain. Next week, hop on the speedboat and make a splash on social media. Don’t run it by 25 people first or schedule a conference call to discuss it. Just do it. Post something off the wall on your wall and see what happens. Give away a free Blue Widget to the first 10 people who post a selfie with your hashtag. Just do it. Worse thing that can happen is it’ll flop. Best case, it will get new people excited about your company.
Take a chance then let us know how it goes.