The Small Business Web
How independent businesses are building & using their online presence.
Online isn't just for the big boys anymore. Today, online tools and social media help small businesses effectively build an online presence with limited resources. We explore how small businesses manage their brands online.
A majority of small business owners have the most basic web resource- a company website - but don't regularly update it.
- 65% of small businesses had a website as of spring 2011. Frequency of updating website : At least a week - 19%; 2-3 times a month - 10%; Once a month - 13%; Every 2-3 months - 14%; Every 4-9 months - 15%;
Once a year - 16%; Less than once a year - 10%; No response - 3%.
Though most small businesses have websites, according to Small Business Authority, many aren't using them to their full potential.
- Happy with web presence: Happy with their current website - 54%; Unhappy with current website - 31%; Don't have a website - 15%.
- Behind on e-commerce: Accept payments on their website - 24%; don't accept payments on their website - 65%; Don't have a website - 11%.
- Behind on analytics: Use tools to monitor website traffic - 21%; Don't have tools to monitor traffic - 63%; Don't have a website - 16%.
Social media adoption
More small businesses are using social media as a means to grow their business and attract new customers.
- Small businesses using social media to grow their business: Spring 2011 - 44%; Fall 2010 - 39%.
- Top reasons small businesses use social media. For most small businesses, social media is a channel to promote their brand to new customers: 1) Attract new customers; 2) Promote company brand; 3) Communicate
company news; 4) Keep in touch with existing customers; 5) Some or all of these tasks.
Tools of the trade
Among small businesses that have a social media presence, Facebook is by far the most popular tool.
- Social media tools small businesses use to attract new customers: Facebook - 35%; LinkedIn - 15%; Twitter - 10%; Blogs - 8%; YouTube - 8%; MySpace - 6%; FourSquare - 2%; Other - 5%.
- 66% of small businesses that use Facebook update or interact with the site at least weekly.
Effectiveness of social media
- Use of social media meets or exceeds the expectations of many small business owners: Exceeded expectations - 9%; Met expectations - 45%; Fell short expectations - 36%; No response - 14%.
INTUIT. Intuit Websites.
Sources: Small Business Authority, Webs, American Express Small Business Monitor, Network Solutions, Emarketer.