NEW YORK: More and more small businesses in the US are using mobile and social media tools, according to a new study.
The report from BIA/Kelsey, the information and insights firm based in Virginia, found that 72% of of American small and medium-sized businesses [SMBs] are now using social media to promote their goods and services while the use of mobile advertising has risen to 32% from 28% in 2012.
Furthermore, 52% of the businesses polled have set up an account with Facebook while 25% have a Google+ Local page.
A majority (66%) said they are "extremely engaged" or "very engaged" with their customers whether that involves regular blogs, responding to online comments or other forms of engagement.
Mobile tech is also increasingly being used, with 40% now accepting payments from a mobile credit card reader attached to a smartphone or tablet.
In addition to the 40% of firms who are already accepting point-of-sale payments via mobile credit card readers, such as PayPal Here or Square, a further 16% say they plan to do so within the next 12 months.
Steve Marshall, the director of research at BIA/Kelsey, said the data showed trade services are embracing mobile in a major way, to the extent that service providers are "essentially becoming walking POS [point of sale] terminals".
"Together, mobile and social tools are transforming the way SMBs acquire and retain customers. With the heavy use of social media, SMB marketing is quickly becoming a two-way engagement rather than a one-way promotion," he said.
Data sourced from BIA/Kelsey; additional content by Warc staff