According to October 2011 research from email marketing software firm Constant Contact, Facebook was the most commonly used social media tactic for small businesses to connect one-on-one with their customers or prospects. Among all online methods, it was second only to email.
Methods Used by US Small Businesses to Connect with Their Customers or Prospects, Oct 2011 (% of respondents)
Facebook’s popularity goes along with its perceived effectiveness. Among small businesses that said social media marketing in general was effective, 83% said that Facebook was at least moderately so. By comparison, 46% said the same of Twitter, the second-ranked social channel.
Effective Social Media Marketing Tools According to US Small Businesses, Oct 2011 (% of respondents)
While small businesses may have gotten on board with social media marketing, they are lagging when it comes to mobile. Overall, 72% of respondents to the Constant Contact survey said they had not incorporated mobile into any business function. Just a few had created mobile websites or apps, or begun doing mobile marketing campaigns.
Ways that US Small Businesses Use Mobile for Their Business, Oct 2011 (% of respondents)
Earlier research from Pitney Bowes found social media was a winner for small businesses because of its ease of use. There was a 21-percentage-point difference in perceived ease of use for mobile, and respondents were less than half as likely to say they had comfort and knowledge in that area as they were in social.