Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have continued to see success with social media, and they’re now upping budgets and time invested in the channel. In an April 2014 study by Social Media Marketing University, the majority (54.4%) of US SMB marketers said they had increased their social media marketing spending this year. Just 7.7% of respondents had decreased investments in social, and 37.9% said social budgets had stayed the same.
Social media was not just seeing more marketing dollars: An overwhelming majority of SMB marketers had also increased the time they were investing in social efforts. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they had upped time spent with social media vs. the prior year, compared with 14.0% who said it had stayed the same. Just 8.1% had decreased the time they were investing in social marketing.
As usage grows, social media marketing is establishing itself as part of the overall marketing mix. Data released in May 2014 by Social Media Examiner suggested that the percentage of SMB marketers worldwide who had integrated social media with their traditional marketing activities had increased year over year.
Though the portion of respondents who “agreed” that they had blended social and traditional marketing dropped slightly between 2013 and 2014, so did the number of those who hadn’t done so. In fact, the only response that saw an increase was SMB marketers worldwide who “strongly agreed” that they had merged social with their traditional marketing activities. Overall, 81% of respondents had integrated social into traditional efforts.