A small business insurance provider polled over 300 small businesses in the United States about their social media usage and how important it is to their strategy.
Mashable and small business insurer Hiscox report that only twelve percent of small businesses in the United States thought social media was necessary in order to gain--and keep--more customers. A whopping fifty percent said they could not do without word-of-mouth marketing and other traditional means of marketing.
On top of that, a whopping sixty-four percent of small businesses thought social media was unnecessary and would not consider it as part of their business plan or strategy right now. However, of the small businesses that said they do use social media, nineteen percent relied most on Facebook, fifteen percent relied on LinkedIn and four percent used Twitter.
A business and social media analysis group, eMarketer, said this about the results: "While offline forms of word-of-mouth remain critical for all brands, and certainly for small, local businesses, social media also plays a valuable role by giving customers a wider voice for their recommendations and helping to amplify that voice beyond their immediate circle of friends, family and colleagues."
Despite these findings, social media has become a staple in what small businesses can do in order to reach a wider audience. As eMarketer also points out, social media is perfect for small businesses that are on a tight budget and need cost-effective methods to spread the word on their business besides the traditional ways.