Staples recently performed a small business and social media study that has provided marketers with an exciting insight into what small businesses are trying to achieve in the social space, as well as what’s important to them and where they perceive value.

The full infographic is displayed below, but it’s the key takeaways that I find most interesting:

  • The most frequently mentioned goal for social media usage is engaging customers, with increasing sales coming only in second place. This contrasts significantly to what we would have heard from small businesses 5 years ago, and shows a fundamental and progressive shift in how business owners understand and perceive the value in social channels.
  • Facebook remains the #1 platform used by small businesses.
  • 26% of small businesses haven’t considered how social media can help their business. That’s more than 1 in 4(!), indicating that we still have some way to go before we reach ultimate adoption.
  • 5.5 hours is the average time spent on social media by small businesses each week. This ties in closely with the general consensus that businesses ought to be spending about 20% of their time developing their social media presence.

As marketers, these offer simple lessons to learn and an indication that there is still plenty of opportunity to help small businesses forge their path in the social space.

Social Media Small Business Survey