For many companies across the US, social media is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. It’s how we stay in touch with our customers, find new prospects, build community and culture among our employees and learn more about our industry. But who’s actually manning all those millions of business-related Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts?
We’ve received some early results from our Small Business Social Media Survey, and the results might surprise you.
More than half (54.9%) of small business owners remain involved in the day-to-day administration of social networks, responding that they are responsible for managing their business’ social presence. 36.2% of businesses use an employee to manage their networks, while a minority (6.5%) use an external company to assist with the administration. What can these numbers tell us? They show that small business owners believe that social media is important enough for them to take time out of their busy schedules to manage personally. And by and large, even if they aren’t managing it themselves, they’re keeping social media activities in the house rather than outsourcing.
But while business owners and employees are managing social media efforts, people from all walks of life are contributing to social media activities.
Nearly three-quarters (73.3%) of small business owners are getting involved with social media in some way, even if they aren’t the primary manager, underscoring the increasing importance of social media in businesses of every size. A sizable number of companies also have a dedicated staff member who administers their social media, often a marketing manager or assistant. Interestingly, however, 27.1% of businesses make social media a whole-company endeavor. We expect to see this trend continue to grow as people come to understand that social media isn’t just a function of marketing or public relations, but a critical tool which affects sales, customer service, operations and every other aspect of business.
Finally, businesses are getting people outside of their organization involved with social media, too. From prospects to current customers to vendors, businesses are recognizing that we can all achieve more when we work together. Utilizing guest posts, or simply reviews and testimonials from clients, these businesses are making social media an effort that includes INCLUDES rather than excludes.
How are you using social media? We’re still collecting data for our 2012 survey, and we’d love to hear from you! Complete our social media survey, sign up to get the full results, and make your voice heard.