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BIA/Kelsey Finds 73.2% of Small Businesses Use Social Media for Marketing

BIA/Kelsey (PR Newswire) - 16 September 2015

New research shows social media is the dominant marketing channel for small business for second consecutive year; Findings to be presented at BIA/Kelsey SMB, Sept. 29-30 in Denver.

CHANTILLY, Va/PRNewswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, social media is the top marketing channel used by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor, Wave 19 (LCM19). Among 1,000 SMBs surveyed, 73.2 percent say they use social media to promote their businesses.

"SMBs are becoming more sophisticated in how they integrate social into their marketing mix," said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. "The question is no longer 'should I be doing more social media?' It has now become, 'how does social media work together with my other media and my business model?'"

As social media has become its own ecosystem, LCM now measures usage of 12 different social media platforms, including three within Facebook and two within Twitter. Facebook pages continue to dominate as the most popular social channel used by SMBs. However newer social entrants are growing quickly, especially Pinterest and Instagram, which have each logged significant gains in adoption by SMBs in the past year.

Among SMBs surveyed:

57.4 percent use a Facebook page to promote their business, up from 53 percent in 2014
20.9 percent use Twitter (regular tweets or re-tweets), up from 18.3 percent in 2014
13.8 percent use Pinterest, up from 10.1 percent in 2014
11.5 percent use Instagram, up from 8.1 percent in 2014
LCM19 at BIA/Kelsey SMB ? Free Report for Attendees
BIA/Kelsey analysts will present data from LCM19 to attendees of this month's BIA/Kelsey SMB conference (Sept. 29-30, Denver). LCM data will inform the conversation on nearly every topic covered at the event ? from the use of cloud-based services to the debate over DIFM vs. DIY, to the importance of social, mobile and video for today's SMB marketers.

Conference attendees will receive a free copy of a brand new LCM19 report titled, "SMB Advertising Report: Planning and Budgeting for 2016." This report includes data and top-level recommendations for specific functional areas within SMB service provider organizations.

To attend the conference and receive the free LCM19 report, register online at

Local Commerce Monitor? Enhancements & Methodology
Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) is BIA/Kelsey's ongoing tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses conducted online with research partner Ipsos. Since 1999, the survey has measured where SMBs are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving.

LCM Wave 19 (LCM19) tracks 50 different media and platforms used by SMBs for advertising, marketing and promotion. The media fall into 10 top-level categories: online, traditional, mobile, local coupons, social, video, broadcast, local directories, giveaway items and community sponsorships.

This year's survey has been expanded to a larger sample size, diversified across categories, market types and age cohorts, and features more verticals, offering more granular findings. The questionnaire included new questions covering additional services (cloud services and automated marketing); more concise mapping of products to channels; tactical sales information (best days and day parts to make sales calls); reasons for preferring DIY model; and factors that determine advertising and marketing budget.

For this study, SMB is defined as a business having from 1 to 99 employees. Local Commerce Monitor draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, primarily based on first- and second-tier markets. LCM19 was conducted in July 2015 via an online survey of 1,000 SMBs. The LCM19 findings have been weighted to reflect the incidence of SMBs by size bracket, according to the SMB size bracket data provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

About BIA/Kelsey
BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research and forecasts, Custom Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey's annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at, on the company's Local Media Watch blog, Twitter ( and Facebook (

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