Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) located in the Great Plains and Southeast United States are embracing social media at a quicker pace than other areas of the country, according to a recent survey conducted by Zoomerang Online Surveys and Polls.
The survey polled more than 500 SMB decision makers on the adoption of social media for business use and how these social media profiles are managed. Of those surveyed, businesses located within Great Plains and Southeast states are more likely to have branded social media channels at 30 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Additionally, decision makers for businesses in the Southeast (28 percent) and Great Plains (22 percent) regions are among the most active via social media on behalf of their businesses.
"Less-populated areas or cities with a strong small business presence are relying more and more on cost-effective mass-communication tools for business news, customer support, and acquisition, as well as networking," said Alex Terry, general manager of Zoomerang. "For people immersed in technology-driven cultures, such as Silicon Valley, this data may come as a surprise, but I believe they can learn from less-technology-enriched regions."
Among the regions slower to adopt social media are the Northeast (New England and New York) and the Mid-Atlantic regions.
Additionally, the survey found that 15 percent of those surveyed have issued internal social media policies. At the same time, another 6 percent plan to create a social media employee policy and 8 percent are evaluating the need for one.
"Considering the recent social media gaffes, businesses need to proactively evaluate their social media needs and practices," Terry said. "For many smaller businesses, a social media policy may not be required. Instead simple education on the potential repercussions of ill-informed tweets or updates will deter most situations."
Aside from negatively reflecting on the brand, social media blunders can significantly hurt brands and have resulted in employee termination. Of the decision makers surveyed, 6 percent indicated that they have fired an employee for misuse of social media.