New research from business portfolio website Visual Objects reaffirms that influencers are an accessible source of content and engagement for small businesses looking to build a brand on social media, and on Instagram in particular—in fact, a full quarter of small businesses surveyed (25 percent) say they use influencers to create content on their social media channels.
The new report offers an overview of how small businesses use the most popular social media platforms in 2019, and shows how small businesses plan to increase or decrease investment in those platforms. Visual Objects surveyed 529 small businesses and found that the social media platforms small businesses use vary based on company size, age of the business owner, and industry of the business itself.
More than a quarter of small businesses plan to increase investment in Instagram
Instagram is becoming increasingly popular because its features offer opportunities for direct engagement with users. For example, Instagram quizzes are one way that small businesses can educate audiences about their brand in a fun, interactive way.
“It’s a fun way to get people more engaged with your brand and also get them to learn more about it,” said Rachel Knights, social media coordinator at Imagine Media Consulting, discussing the benefits of an Instagram quiz.
Most small businesses (88 percent) plan to increase their investment in social media, and 28 percent plan to increase investment in Instagram. Businesses with more than 50 employees are more likely to invest in Instagram than smaller companies. Almost half of millennial small business owners (48 percent) also plan to invest in Instagram.
Most small businesses will increase their overall investment in social media in 2019
Almost all small businesses who invest in social media (88 percent) will increase that investment in 2019, according to the survey. Social media remains a popular component of small businesses’ digital marketing strategies.
Still, 36 percent of small businesses said they were planning to decrease their investment in social media in 2019, despite the flexible and cost-effective nature of these channels.
“If companies are trying to decrease their spending on social media, they probably don’t understand how to use those tools to reach their audience,” said Tim Hemingway, vice president of marketing at Disruptive Advertising, in a news release.
In order to maximize their investment on social media, small businesses must thoroughly research their audience and have an in-depth understanding of the features offered by each platform.
Most small businesses still use Facebook
Facebook remains the top social media platform among small businesses—89 percent of respondents use the platform. Facebook has 2.3 billion monthly active users and sophisticated advertising tools for businesses looking to extend their reach on the platform.
“Businesses need to appear where their target audience is spending their time online,” said Cydney Hatch, social media manager at Disruptive Advertising, in the release. “If you look at a lot of the statistics, Facebook and Instagram are some of the top places people spend a lot of their time online.”