According to a new study from RatePoint, only 36% of small business owners utilize social media to reach out to their customers--a significantly low percentage considering 72% of big businesses already use social media, and the remaining 28% have a plan ready to be initiated before the year's end.
The logic behind the low small business figure? Because apparently, 20% of small business owners don't think that their customers spend time on sites like Facebook or Twitter, and 27% said they weren't sure. Sadly, they are mistaken. 62% of the United States adult population is on Facebook, and according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, social network use among Internet users ages 50+ increased from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010, while the proportion of Americans ages 70-75 who were online in general increased from 26% in 2005 to 45% in 2009. So literally, social media touches almost every age demographic.
Of the small business owners that do utilize social media, a big selling point is that it is inexpensive and has great capabilities.