Social Media isn’t just for your teenage nieces and nephews– according to a report from research firm BIA/Kelsey, 74.5% of small and medium businesses (fewer than 100 employees) now use social media to advertise or promote their businesses. This is up by about 3 percent from last year.
“Social has been on a tear for about five years now, and it has gotten to the point where it is now the most-used category in terms of reach, and it also now commands the largest share of budget of all categories,” said Steve Marshall, director of research at BIA/Kelsey. “Social is No. 1 in both reach and spend — that is a first.”
With this upswing, small and medium-sized businesses are using less of their budget on print and outdoor advertising in 2014, and investing more in social. The reason? It is easy, user-friendly and gives businesses an opportunity to directly connect to consumers. According to the study, Facebook reigns supreme with 55 percent of social media channel usage, with LinkedIn ads (primarily for HR and hiring purposes) coming in at second with 30 percent.
These findings only confirm the reality that social media is not going away anytime soon, and if you are a small, medium, or even large business, taking advantage of social media channels is crucial to your company’s vitality and relevance.