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Are you part of the SMB trends for online activity?

Before reading the statistics below, think about your online activity as a small business.

Are you using online activities more or less than last financial year?

Have your online activities changed in the last year? For instance, are you using Twitter more and Facebook less?

Do you use social media more or less than your competitors?

How important is your website to your business and gaining new clients?

All good questions that can help you assess your time and marketing efforts, and make decisions about budgets and software needs.

So what are other SMBs doing online?

This post was inspired by two different sets of data – mainly because they are so different.

According to MYOB’s July 2012 Business Monitor Survey, online transactions, email marketing and social media use have all dropped during the last quarter.

On the other hand, the Sensis eBusiness Report (August 2012) shows an increase in social media and website use by SMBs over the year.

Interesting isn’t it?

Were the surveys so different or has the last quarter thrown the overall pattern for the year?

Social media use

From the Sensis report, I can tell you that…

41% of medium businesses use social media

27% of small businesses use social media

68% of SMBs in cultural, recreational and personal services sectors use social media

21% of SMBs monitor and update their social media presence daily, with 39% doing it at least weekly

For those on social media, the breakdown is:

usage trend graph for social media

Social media usage move up and down

  • 86% Facebook
  • 32% Twitter
  • 25% LinkedIn
  • 12% blog
  • 5% YouTube
  • 4% Google +
  • 2% MySpace
  • 1% Pinterest

Do you spend most of your social media time in Facebook or Twitter? I know I do!

The MYOB report showed that…

5% of SMBs used Twitter compared to 6% in March quarter

15% of SMBs connected via Facebook, YouTube or Google + – it was 18% in March

19% Victorian SMBs (the biggest social media state apparently!) used social media compared to 24% in March

 Websites and online transactions

Like MYOB’s spokesperson, I am glad to see an increase in the number of SMBs with a website – 38% now have a site compared to only 36% in March (interestingly it was 40% when I posted about this in April 2009).

Yet only 24% of SMBs use search engine optimisation to promote their business (it was 31% in March). How much time and effort do you put into SEO and keeping your website fresh and valuable?

72% of SMBs with a website said the website improved the business’ effectiveness – a 4% increase for the last year.

Look at these drops found by MYOB:

  • accepting clients’ payments online dropped from 25% to 19%
  • running email marketing campaigns dropped 26% to 24%
  • buying products/services online dropped 37% to 24%

What impact do such drops have on your business?

With the trends – or not?

So is your business like the majority or minority of SMBs in Australia?

Can you make use of this data to make improvements to your business and your marketing strategy?

Just to confirm, I am on social media…

Tash & Word Constructions on Twitter          Word Constructions on LinkedIn             Tash & Word Constructions on Facebook

2 Responses to Are you part of the SMB trends for online activity?

  • KennyK says:

    When I go local and look around me in my city and country, I see more and more small businesses who let their customers know they are on Facebook, Twitter and so on (through stickers on their window, through flyers, a link on their menu, some promo they offer, a contest, …) to interact more with customers, hoping that this interaction will lead to more people knowing their company.

    So far there’s a positive response, people expect to find their favorite restaurant, shop, … on Facebook so they can “check in” and tell people where they are and what they are doing there, with who and what the next plan is. Mouth to Mouth through social media really works.

    • tashword says:

      I think those visible Facebook notes in real life are even more valuable as people get more mobile – if you have a smart phone with you, you could ‘like’ their Facebook page there and then so the business is less reliant on you remembering to do it a few hours later when you’re back at a computer.

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