Social Media Great for Small Business, says report

According to a new report, small businesses are seeing the greatest benefits from social media marketing. The report, the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report surveyed 3342 marketers, of whom 47% were self-employed or small business owners.

The report reveals that the self-employed (67%) and small business owners (66%) were more likely to strongly agree that social media was important to their business.

While marketers overall (88%) said social media helps increased exposure, small business owners were more likely than all other groups (89.2%) to see increased exposure via social media.

Also according to the report, self-employed and small business owners were more likely to report new partnerships (59%), and small businesses were twice as likely to find qualified leads than other types of businesses.

In regard to the among of time one needed to produce these results the report showed two things: One, was that experience with the social media was important, with those with 3 or more years of experience in social media marketing seeing the greatest results.

And two, while the study did not mention precisely how much time per week marketers used, it did indicate that at least 6 hours or more of involvement per week was much better than less than six hours.

Almost all marketers used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, while 81 per cent do not use MySpace. The self-employed are the most likely to use and increase their use of LinkedIn, but small businesses used video marketing significantly less than larger businesses.