Business owners’ social media use

A recent survey has reported a significant rise in small firms’ usage of social media channels for marketing and sales, with Instagram and TikTok increasingly popular tools with younger business owners.

The research, commissioned by small business lender iwoca, sought to identify the top online channels SMEs use for their business and how the figures have altered since the pandemic. In total, it found the small business community’s use of social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, has risen by 14 percentage points since the onset of the pandemic.

Company websites remain small firms’ most popular online channel, with 40% using them for their business, a two-percentage point rise compared to pre-pandemic levels. Facebook and Instagram are the next most popular, with the former used by 37% and the latter 19% of small business owners, an increase of three and four percentage points, respectively.

The survey also reported significant variation between younger and older business owners. For instance, while 37% of under 44-year-olds now use Instagram to market their business, only 11% of the over 44s do so. Similarly, 10% of younger small business owners were found to be using TikTok, compared to just 1% of over 44s.