New research reveals that many small business owners find developing social media communities to be the most challenging part of their digital marketing strategy, even more than SEO—which suggests they not only highly value social community development, but also show 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 itself now also influenced by social media community development.
Toronto-based web development and digital marketing agency 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 firm gave all small business owners the following five digital marketing services to choose from: SEO, social media marketing, bogging, 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,” said Amine Rahal, founder and CEO of Little Dragon Media, in a news release. “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 of most difficult digital marketing struggles, measuring at 26.2 percent, with blogging coming in third at 19.4 percent.
Reputation management swept in fourth, with 13.4 percent, and “Finding a trustworthy agency to help us” came in last place, measuring at 11 percent—suggesting that this was a non-issue, at least for many Canadian businesses.
On the Little Dragon Media social media page on its website, Rahal highlights the power of social media, citing that 71 percent 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 the new 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 blog post about the survey: “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 percent female small business owners report social media community development being the most difficult struggle when compared to their male counterparts who reported at 44.3 percent.
“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,” said Guan, in her write-up. “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.”