An online survey, recently conducted by Internet2Go, through MerchantCircle's most engaged merchants (having created blogs, uploaded pictures, built coupons, newsletters, etc.) - using a sample size of less than 5% - showed some very interesting results on how quickly small businesses are adapting social media.
Granted, the merchants surveyed are already predisposed to our network, we believe the survey shows that merchants are rapidly beginning to understand and embrace social media like MerchantCircle, Facebook, and Twitter.
"We believe the behavior exhibited by these small business owners is a pre-cursor of things to come – that small business owners will increasingly forgo expensive advertising options and embrace publishing their unique content across various social media outlets," said Darren Waddell vice president and MerchantCircle. "While MerchantCircle typically focuses on helping businesses get online for the first time, we are excited to be an important part of the social media strategies employed by this new segment of merchants."
Other survey findings include the following:
- 79% of respondents report annual marketing budgets of less than $5,000 per year with the 44% spending "less than $1,000" annually on advertising and marketing
- 80% of respondents have four or fewer employees
- Asked about their "biggest complaint" regarding online marketing the top two were "too costly" (26%) and "there's not enough time to do it well and still run a business" (15.9%)
- 75% said they monitor online reviews of their business. The most common method was by visiting specific review websites (47%) and by searching on their business name (44%)
- Despite its enormous popularity social media showed the biggest gap between SMB adoption and perceived effectiveness as a marketing platform.
You can read the entire press release here.