A Survey Finds Small Businesses Driving Growth through Online and Social Media Channels

The majority of small business owners are increasing their use of the Internet and social media platforms to grow their business, according to a new survey conducted by Citibank. It was also discovered that small business owners under the age of 45 are the primary drivers of increased online efforts.

Sixty-five percent of the 749 small business owners surveyed across the United States cited increasing marketing activities as a key step in growing their business. While the overwhelming majority (70 percent) used their company website as a marketing channel, 41 percent said they have used social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, in the last year. Sixty-two percent haven’t used email for marketing purposes – a figure that remains the same from when Citibank first surveyed small business leaders about social media and online marketing in April, 2010.

As small business owners are moving online, and relying more heavily on their company website, online channels represent an emerging opportunity to help grow their businesses. In fact, many small businesses plan to use digital and social media tools in the coming year. According to the survey:

- 60 percent plan to increase activity on their website for marketing purposes.

- 40 percent intend to use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for marketing or expanding their business – up 10 points from 2010.

- 38 percent plan to leverage email marketing tactics to drive awareness and sales of products and services.


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