October 22, 2014

Survey: Small Businesses Rely on Website, Facebook, LinkedIn for Branding

brand engagement

You may have heard advice about using Twitter or Pinterest for branding. It seems there’s always a new flavor of the week in social media and the multiple channels can become a bit overwhelming.

Well, a recent survey suggests many small businesses may simply be forgoing all this and sticking with one or two tried and true channels to brand their businesses.

It might surprise you that these most popular channels don’t include Pinterest or Twitter. In many cases, they don’t even include blogs.

Branding Survey Says Small Businesses Use a Few Trusted Tools

A survey of 529 Canadian small business owners each employing between 2 and 100 people found 52 percent rely mostly on their company website for branding.

And what other channels are small businesses relying on after their company website?

Well, a recent breakdown of the study by PC World suggests 35 percent of these businesses rely on Facebook for branding with just under that (33 percent) relying on LinkedIn.

Other social channels aren’t even close.

Other Branding Efforts

According to the breakdown:

  • 19 percent of small businesses surveyed use Twitter for branding.
  • 11 percent use Google Plus.
  • 10 percent use a blog or forums.

Use of services like Pinterest and Instagram are even lower.

In fact, the study conducted for American Express Small Business Services by Rogers Connect Market Research suggests many of these businesses understand the need for digital channels but still rely on very traditional approaches.

In an official release, American Express Small Business explains:

A full 60 per cent of business owners rely on the actions of their employees to communicate their brand to their customers and almost half (45%) of these report it being effective. Furthermore, 32% of small business owners leverage events to help increase brand awareness.

What is your small business doing for branding?

Brand Photo via Shutterstock

12 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

12 Reactions

  1. Joshua,

    It seems that even though the ROI on social media marketing often obscure to measure, one thing that will benefit from website and social media activities is branding, IMO… and that can help carrying a business past its competitors.

  2. Quite interesting. It seems like everyone is jumping in the bandwagon but it seems like only a few are really utilizing social media to their benefit. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it means that businesses may be relying in more effective strategies than the hyped up social media but it can also be bad for the business’s revenue.

  3. I thought Twitter would be right up there alongside Facebook for those small businesses, then followed by LinkedIn. In my mind, Twitter’s more popular than LinkedIn (isn’t it?). Maybe the percentage usage amongst small businesses is higher for LinkedIn than for Twitter because, between the two platforms, the former is perhaps seen as more professional.

    It would be interesting to see if similar result findings would occur if a wider catchment of small business owners were surveyed. I’d also be curious to see what results would arise from other places such as the US and the UK were the same survey to be conducted there.

    • Ebele,

      What’s disturbing me is the fact that blogs are down there, below websites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+… isn’t blogging great for branding?

      • Hi Ivan…

        Agreed. A blog can be very good for branding if properly utilised. However, maybe blogs are further down the list of priorities because it’s considered to take more effort to maintain than social networking platforms. I’m just hazarding a guess as to the reason. I could be wrong. Totally.

  4. The trends seem to be pointing in the direction of social, but as others have stated I doubt many are doing it optimally. It is all too easy to talk at customers instead of engaging with them. I think the businesses that figure this out and build deeper relationships will come out on top.

  5. Social media is definitely a great way to brand your small business and affordable, too. But I agree that many companies wind up talking at their audience rather than engaging it. A relaxed and conversational approach makes a difference.

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