According to a report generated by the SMB Group in the middle of 2012, approximately 25% of SMEs currently employ or plan to employ social media strategies in their marketing and business efforts.
From their sample pool of SMEs in the US, the SMB Group conducted their 2012 Small and Medium Social Business Study, and concluded that although 75% of SMEs currently do not have a structured social media strategy, 30% of SMEs use social media in some ad-hoc way.
There is still a lot of good news in these figures. For the marketing and design agencies the key figure to note is that 30% already using social media informally. “The SME sector is very interesting for us and has proved to be a profitable business segment, generating over 40% of our annual revenue from both purchasing our services and also joining in our learning workshops”, says Elin Kilicarslan, Co-Founder of 74by2. She adds that the SME segment around the world accounts for most of the businesses we come across in our lives and their continued success from the use of social media and advanced marketing strategies is essential to the growth of our global economy. “At 74by2, our mission is to improve the way SMEs penetrate their niche to help them grow their businesses sustainably.”
Companies like 74by2 that conduct learning seminars and webinars are helping to improve the perception of social media as a strong marketing tool amongst global SMEs. These learning experiences give SMEs the proper framework for using social media effectively in their day-to-day marketing and business processes.
The sample group was also asked whether they will integrate/plan to integrate Social Media with traditional marketing, sales and customer service solutions/processes. Below is the resulting figure.
In short, social media, although a proven and effective method for marketing and engaging communities and prospects/clients, SMEs still have a lot of learning and executing to do. Considering the vast amount of information available about this topic, it’s my conclusion that most companies simply don’t know what to do and may simply be overwhelmed with the pace at which this field is moving.