Small Businesses Seeing Greater Return on Investment from Social Media

Many small business owners are starting to feel better about the prospects for their companies going forward these days, and some of that may be due to the larger returns on investment they are now seeing from their efforts to expand their social media presence.

Today, 39 percent of companies using social media are seeing a return on the money they've been pouring into their social media efforts, and in some cases, those returns are considerable, according to a new poll of owners from Manta. Of those who saw money come back to them, three in 10 said that amount was more than $2,000 annually.

"As a highly pragmatic and time-constrained group, small business owners are strategically adopting platforms that show real results for their business," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "However, social media is not a stationary phenomenon. As SMBs shift from the experimental stage to a results-focused phase, their social media usage will evolve to maximize the value."

More than one-third of all businesses are dedicating their small business efforts to attempting to acquire and engage new customers, while the next-closest proportion – at 19 percent – do so to get new leads or referrals, the report said. Nearly half of those polled also said they have significantly increased their time using these platforms, while close to one in three said they've at least kept it the same. Meanwhile, 3 percent say they've increased their budgets for dealing with social media, and the same amount have dedicated resources to manage their activity on these sites. More than half of those polled said they only have one employee dedicated to social media activities, but one in five say they don't have anyone in that position at all.

Meanwhile, when it comes to difficulties in maintaining a presence on various social media sites, more than four in 10 said they have no such problems, the survey found. Meanwhile, 18 percent said they've experienced the most trouble with Facebook, while one in 10 said the same of LinkedIn, and 9 percent felt that way about Twitter.

Small business owners looking to expand their social media presence may want to consider the cost that can come with doing so successfully, and evaluate whether it's worth the investment in comparison with other things the company might need, such as small business insurance policies including liability insurance.