Social Media Optimization
Social media use among small businesses surged in the last 12 months, according to a recent Citibank Small Business Survey.

According to the survey, use of social media increased significantly over the last year, with 36% of small business owners saying they use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to market their business, compared to just 19% a year ago.

Survey Highlights:
  • Facebook is the primary social media tool for small business, with 29% of respondents reporting that their business has its own Facebook page.
  • Adoption of flash sale sites is slow - only 5% of small businesses used Groupon or a similar tool in the past year
  • 87% said they have no plans to use an online flash sale site in 2011
  • Traditional marketing is on the decline - only 36% said they were likely to use newspaper advertising or direct mail in 2011, down from 44% who did so last year.
Additionally, when asked what steps they will take to attract more business in 2011, 68% of small business owners say they will increase marketing and 54% say they will offer new products and services.

The Citibank Small Business Survey follows on the heels of the survey from the American Express OPEN "Small Business Monitor", which showed almost identical numbers.

What we do find interesting is that while only 5% of small businesses have used Groupon or a similar tool in the past year, 87% say they plan to use these flash sites in 2011. That is an incredibly high number.