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Fewer Than One Quarter of Small Businesses Have Social Media Strategies

Small businesses are getting better at using social media to meet marketing and customer goals. However, they struggle with figuring out a strategy and deploying social media in that strategy.

Fewer than one-quarter of small businesses (24%) use social media as part of a planned social media strategy. Another 29% use social media in an ad hoc way, suggesting that they are intrigued with social media but aren’t sure exactly how to make it work for them. That’s according to the 2012 Small and Medium Social Business Study [1] conducted by the SMB Group [2] earlier this year in 2012.

Even the informal ad-hoc users are more advanced than the 47% of small businesses that do not use social media at all. But that’s actually gotten better since 2011, when 56% were not using social media.

Small businesses use social media strategically

This data suggests (1) there’s interest in using social media, particularly as more small businesses hear use cases about social media and see their customers using it, but (2) businesses don’t know how to apply social media in a systematic planned way. Most likely they don’t have the time to investigate and learn all the social media sites, figure out how which are the best social venues for their business, and then tie techniques back to their business objectives — let alone measure it all.

Here is what you should do: