DALLAS, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a hyper-connected world where a strong online presence could mean better growth opportunities for business, 2013 looks to be another year of significantly increased online investment for small businesses.
According to the 2013 AT&T* Small Business Technology Poll**, which surveyed 1,000 small businesses nationwide, 66 percent of small businesses plan to invest as much or more in digital marketing – websites, social media and online advertisements – as they did last year. The poll also revealed that a vast majority of small businesses will expand their online and digital presence through their company website and email blasts to customers in 2013.
In addition, more investment in mobile marketing solutions is a factor among small businesses polled, with 71 percent "somewhat" or "very likely" to increase budgets for marketing via mobile devices. And nearly one-third use "mobile-friendly" websites – those easily viewable on smartphones – as a way to engage with customers.
"U.S. small businesses see incredible value and opportunity in digital marketing and are clearly increasing their presence as a way to gain access to new customers," said Cathy Martine, AT&T Executive Vice President of Small Business Solutions. "With a variety of digital tools such as email, websites and social media, coupled with the ability to both deliver and access them from mobile devices, small businesses are building new connections without borders."
Some key tech poll findings** on the social media front include:
- As a way to remain competitive with easy and affordable ways to create awareness, 36 percent of small businesses polled say they use LinkedIn for various reasons, including engaging with others in their industry and extending awareness of their business. This represents a 16 percent increase over last year.
- While LinkedIn saw an increase, Facebook participation among small businesses polled decreased from 44 percent to 41 percent over the past year.
- Use of location-based social media also decreased. For example, Foursquare decreased from nine percent to six percent year over year.
In addition, more than 80 percent of small businesses polled will also use word-of-mouth marketing to increase awareness and visibility. Further, 93 percent of startups – defined as businesses that have been operating for less than two years – intend to maximize word-of-mouth marketing.
For free business resources such as webinars, case studies, and best practices, visit the AT&T Small Business Solutions website. Additionally, real-time information and updates can be found on the AT&T Small Business Facebook page and AT&T Small Business Twitter channel.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
The 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll was conducted with 1,000 small businesses from 50 states and the District of Columbia from December 18-27, 2012. The survey was conducted using the ResearchNow online business panel with small business owners or employees, who are the key decision-maker for computer purchases and maintenance, Internet service and telephones (e.g., information technology). Small businesses were defined as having between two and 99 employees, both part-time and full-time.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.