Small Businesses’ Social ROI Struggles Won’t Stop

Nearly six in 10 SBOs don’t see ROI from social media activities

Toronto, ON (June 3, 2015) – Small businesses remain so-so about social media, and recent research suggests issues with return on investment (ROI) are one factor limiting small businesses’ usage of such platforms. In a January 2015 study by Social Media Examiner, just over four in 10 small and medium-sized business (SMB) marketers worldwide said they were able to measure the ROI of their social media activities.

US small business owners who see RIO from sociel media activies, 2015

April 2015 polling by Manta found that nearly six in 10 US small-business owners (SBOs) still weren’t seeing ROI from social media activities. And even those who did weren’t rolling in the dough. Respondents were most likely to see a return of less than $100 per month from social. Just 13.5% generated monthly social ROI of more than $1,000.

Companies must put in time to drive optimal social results, and Manta found that SBOs had been slow to do this. About one-third of respondents had increased time spent on social media over the past year, vs. 34.4% who said it had remained the same.

Research firm Clutch found similar results in a February 2015 study. Here, 38% of US SBOs had increased employee time spent managing social media profiles compared with 2014, but the same percentage said this had remained flat, and 16% had even decreased time spent.

Change in spending on an outside agency/consultant for social media guidance among US small business owners, Feb 2015

But piling hours on existing employees isn’t usually enough; outside sources are also helpful. Clutch found that just 12% of SBOs had increased spending on outside agencies or consultants for social media guidance over the past year, and 30% had actually decreased dollars.

SMBs that want to ramp up social media efforts and generate ROI should consider blending in-house and outside resources. Mike Rosa of 180Fusion said: “If you’re a small to medium-sized business and have limited resources, having an agency involved is very important. Ideally the best outcomes that we see are in situations where small businesses have an agency in place to provide a lot of strategy and generate content, and then having a business owner or someone engaged on their end as well.”

About eMarketer

By gathering the latest research and news from over 1,000 sources, eMarketer has established itself as the world’s leading provider of internet and e-business statistics. eMarketer’s Web site is at www.emarketer.com.

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

SOURCE: eMarketer