Benchmark Bytes: How Do SMBs Use Social Marketing?

As part of the ritual of examining local commerce and SMB Saas strategies, Localogy goes right to the source: SMBs themselves. How do they feel about marketing and operational software? What features do they want? And how has their hunger changed in a pandemic?

Localogy’s latest Pro Perspectives report dives into the social media aspects of the above questions. Entitled, Pro Perspectives: Social is Here to Stay, it examines original SMB sentiments and behavior for social media marketing. We dive in for this week’s Benchmark Bytes.

Specifically, we zero in on SMBs’ current social marketing choices. And the big winner by a long shot is Facebook, with 78 percent of SMBs reporting that they’re active on Facebook for marketing purposes. That’s followed by (Facebook-owned) Instagram with 54 percent.

The results then trail off to other social channels including Twitter (41 percent), YouTube (39 percent), LinkedIn (28 percent) and Snapchat (25 percent). When drilling down to paid presence on these channels, Facebook likewise comes out on top with 68 percent of SMBs,

Localogy members can access full charts and SMB survey reports. Non-members can purchase reports

What Does it All Mean?

Going a bit deeper, a few things jump out at us:

— As noted, Facebook has a commanding lead of SMB social media marketing. If you add up Facebook (78 percent) and Instagram (54 percent), it exceeds other channels by a wide margin.

— This compares to the next most penetrated social channel — Twitter — with 41 percent.

— When drilling down into paid advertising on these social channels, Facebook likewise dominates with 68 percent, and 50 percent for Instagram.

— This compares to the next most penetrated paid social channel — YouTube — with 25 percent.

— Facebook’s appeal in gaining this dominating share of SMB activity is a combination of reach and granular targeting.

— With most of the world’s population on Facebook (and Instagram), it can offer precision targeting (social signals, location, etc.) and still reach meaningful volumes of users.

— Facebook advertising is also known for its simplicity and streamlined campaign setup, a key success factor for SMB marketing.

— Facebook’s public scrutiny and PR challenges seem to be insular to tech and media circles, while SMBs appear unfazed and positive towards Facebook (at least in voting with their wallets).

— In future Benchmark Bytes installments, we will dive deeper on this disparity between Facebook’s public profile and its traction with SMBs.

Pro Perspectives: Social is Here to Stay

Time to Shine

Stepping back, SMB online marketing — social or otherwise — continues to grow rapidly.  SMB SaaS startups and online services providers are correspondingly thriving as it continues to grow as a leading subsector of the broader SaaS universe.

Meanwhile, new SMB SaaS users could represent permanent adopters — a concept that’s accelerated in the Covid era as SMBs are forced to boost their digital transformation. This sends them into the arms of SaaS providers to accomplish a range of marketing functions.

We’ll return in the next installment to go deeper on SMB social marketing behavior. That will include their goals and success factors. Let us know what additional insights jump out at you from the above data, and stay tuned for more breakdowns in our Benchmark Bytes series.

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