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Business Owners and Social Media

 Spectrem's study looks at the percentage of Business Owners who use social media to promote their business.  

| BY Kent McDill

Business Owners have a great deal on their mind. Every minute requires a decision that can affect every aspect of the business that supports the owner and his family.

The advent of social media changed business in America. Business was no longer about gaining attention of people walking or driving past your place of business. It was no longer about newspaper or radio advertising. Social media provided a way to get in the face of potential customers 24/7.

Surprisingly, some businesses do not take advantage of the remarkable communication avenue social media provides.

Spectrem’s research study Serving Business Owners examines the attitudes and concerns of America’s Business Owners in all aspects of their lives running their own business and their own personal financial state. Because it is 2016, social media plays a role in the success of most businesses.

But not all. A surprising percentage of Business Owners eschew social media in their marketing efforts. Spectrem’s research shows that based on age and gender segmentation, there is a large difference in the usage of social media.

Facebook remains the most ubiquitous of social media sites, and 71 percent of Business Owners under the age of 46 use Facebook in their public relations efforts. However, only 50 percent of Business Owners between the ages of 46 and 60 do so, while only 35 percent of Business Owners over the age of 61 do so.

LinkedIn is more used for business-to-business communication, but is still a site used to promote business offerings. Although only 62 percent of the youngest Business Owners used LinkedIn in public relations, 38 percent of the oldest Business Owners do so, a slight increase above the use of Facebook for that segment.

Because of its format, Twitter requires a bit more day-to-day, hour-to-hour communication. Fifty percent of the youngest Business Owners use Twitter for public relations, while only 25 percent of those between the ages of 46-60 do so and only 19 percent of those over the age of 61 use Twitter.

Despite the fact that some Business Owners choose not to use those forms of communication for public relations, their use is in most cases above the uses of other forms of media. For instance, television advertising for all Business Owners ranges at just above 10 percent, and billboard advertising comes in at under 10 percent for all Business Owners (with young Business Owners leading the pack in that category).

Radio advertising has a slightly higher usage rate, topping out at 18 percent of Business Owners over the age of 60.

Despite cries that print media is dying, approximately 35 percent of all Business Owners use newspapers or magazines for public relations purposes, topped by 39 percent of those Business Owners between the ages of 46 and 60. Even 27 percent of the youngest Business Owners still employ print media for PR purposes.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.