Small businesses are spending more time and money on social media but are struggling with the additional workload, a new survey suggests.
Self-service marketing solutions provider VerticalResponse surveyed 462 small businesses on how much time they spend on social media activities, including finding and sharing content on popular social networks and blogging, and what tasks take the most time. VerticalResponse also inquired about marketing budgets.
"Our survey confirms that small businesses are understanding the value of social media," said Janine Popick, VerticalResponse founder and CEO.
"They’re spending more time doing it, and investing more money into it at a faster rate. But the extra work will likely lead to time management issues, especially for the small business owner who’s handling social media on top of all the other responsibilities of running a company. This implies that small businesses are in need of tactics and tools now to help them save time."
Time spent on social media
Sixty-six per cent of survey respondents reported spending more time on social media than they did a year ago, and among respondents who are CEOs/owners/proprietors of their own companies, about one-third of them said they’d rather spend less time on social media, suggesting they preferred focusing their time on other activities to grow their businesses.
Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social networks being employed by small businesses, at 90pc and 70pc respectively. Adoption of Pinterest and Google+ remains slow, however, at 29pc and 32pc, respectively.
In addition to social networks, small businesses are blogging, with 43pc publishing a blog post at least once a week. Nearly half (45pc) spend one to three hours creating one post, while 16pc spend more than three hours on creating a post.
Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the survey respondents reported that finding and posting content to their social networks is the most time-consuming social media-related task.
In terms of spending, the survey results show that social media budgets are increasing at a faster rate than overall marketing budgets.
More than 22pc reported an increase in their social media budget compared to a year ago, while only 6pc reported a decrease.