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Small Business Owners Struggling with Social Media

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Giving the Benefit of Hanlon's Razor

Small businesses don’t just have smaller revenues and fewer employees, but often have fewer specialized functions within the business as well. Where a company with 1000 employees might have an employee specializing in social media management, a company with ten employees will likely have a marketing generalist with many more responsibilities. Do fewer employees affect small businesses’ ability to market digitally?

Little Dragon Media recently surveyed 500 Canadian small business owners and asked: “What part of your company’s digital marketing do you struggle with the most?” The Toronto-based web development and digital marketing agency gave all small business owners the following five digital marketing services to choose from: SEO; SMM; Blogging; Reputation Management; and others.

The survey discovered that out of the five options, “Getting fans and followers on social media” was the most popular response, overthrowing SEO.

“The results were a bit surprising to me,” states Amine Rahal, Founder and CEO of Little Dragon Media. “When we launched the survey, I assumed that most businesses would choose SEO as being the hardest, since it can take years to rank high organically on search engines, especially in competitive niches.”

“Ranking high on search engines” was the second most popular option, being the second most difficult digital marketing struggle measuring at 26.2% with blogging coming in third at 19.4%.

Reputation management swept in fourth swallowing up 13.4% of the survey pie, and “Finding a trustworthy agency to help us” came in last place measuring at 11%, suggesting that this was a non-issue for many Canadian businesses.

Social media marketing’s lead over SEO signals that small business owners today highly value social media community development while also showing signs of struggle in efforts to figure out how to get the best results when compared to SEO, an established digital marketing service which is now also influenced by social media community development.

On the Little Dragon Media social media page on their website, agency founder Amine Rahal highlights the power of social media, citing that 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a business are likely to recommend that brand to others.

This statistic coupled with new found survey results shows how social media has swept into the forefront of the overall digital marketing landscape.

Survey moderator Digital Marketing Consultant and Social Media Producer, Monica Guan of Little Dragon Media states in her article, “In the current digital era, having a strong social media presence and ranking on Google are the best and low-cost ways to reach your local audience! Just by the fact that business owners are struggling with these aspects show that they do realize the importance of these factors to their business, but may not have the know-how to succeed in these areas.”

The study further dives deeper and reports data on gender segmentation among small business owners; discovering that 55.7% female small business owners report  community development being the most difficult struggle when compared to their male counterparts who reported at 44.3%.

Monica Guan explains, “Female business owners may care more for the social media of their business and sees it as a priority that needs to be improved on. This shows that not only do many business owners require more education about how to use their social media and gain more fans and followers, but more education to male business owners on the importance of social media to their business.”

For more information and stats about the Little Dragon Media digital marketing study please head to: http://littledragon.ca/canadian-small-business-owners-struggle/.

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Eric T. Tung

Eric T. Tung is the director of digital communications for GoTo Marketers, a top-rated social media strategist and consultant, and dad. He has worked with some of the leading companies in the world on digital communications and employment branding, and makes a mean smoked brisket. Eric is based in Houston, Texas, and you can find him on most channels as EricTTung.