Network Solutions recently released its 2010 State of Small Business report and it has lots of interesting information, including data on social media usage by small businesses.
As the chart below (chart 14 from the report) shows, Facebook is used by 27% of small businesses for business purposes. That's up from 17% just last June.
This is stunning growth and another data point suggesting Facebook is taking over the web.
The chart also shows strong growth in the use of LinkedIn, with Twitter and blogs showing solid but less spectacular usage increases.
You may wonder why this survey shows lower social media usage than other surveys. The answer is survey methodology.
Most small business social media surveys use online surveys and don't attempt to create samples that statistically represent the entire small business sector. Instead, these surveys are trying to gauge usage of online small businesses or active online small businesses - not the entire sector.
This isn't wrong or bad, but can misleading if you're interested in the entire small business sector.
The State of Small Business survey uses phone interviews and samples in a manner that insures the survey respondents are representative of the entire U.S. small business sector. Because of this, their results are much more likely to accurately capture what is happening across a the entire small business segment of the U.S. economy.
We'll be posting on other interesting results from the Network Solutions 2010 State of Small Business report over the next few weeks.