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Manta's Q1 SMB Wellness Index Reveals Small Businesses Find ROI in Social Media but Struggle With Facebook


April 16, 2013 - Columbus, OH

Despite the federal government's budget crisis in the first quarter, more than half of small business owners say it was a successful quarter for their business, according to a new Manta survey of over 1,200 small business owners. The majority (79 percent) are also optimistic about their business prospects in Q2. High optimism and business growth have not translated into an increase in employment as only about 5 percent of small business owners plan to hire new staff this spring. Instead, more small business owners (nearly 26 percent) are investing in social media, online advertising and marketing.

With the potential to generate a compelling return on investment (ROI), social media involvement is trending upward in the small business community. Nearly fifty percent of SMBs have increased time spent on social media compared to a year ago. More than one in three small business owners dedicate between one and three hours each week managing their social media channels, while 10 percent spend more than 10 hours.

"As a highly pragmatic and time-constrained group, small business owners are strategically adopting platforms that show real results for their business," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "However, social media is not a stationary phenomenon. As SMBs shift from the experimental stage to a results-focused phase, their social media usage will evolve to maximize the value."

Small business owners are taking an independent and resourceful approach to learning more about social media. Whereas only 18 percent of SMBs ask for social media help from third-party experts, twice as many -- 36 percent -- turn to online resources. Their hard work is paying off as nearly 40 percent of small business owners are reporting a return on their investment, with 30 percent realizing returns greater than $2,000.

As more small business owners increase their social media presence, they're also encountering obstacles along the way. Eighteen percent of SMBs report Facebook is the most difficult platform to maintain, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. Small business owners are also in need of business-focused platforms like Manta to help them connect with prospects and peers. In fact, 36 percent of SMBs indicate the primary goal of using social media is to acquire and engage with new customers. Over 6,000 members join Manta every day to increase their referrals, build their network and develop their relationships with the more than 90 million small businesses across Manta's community.

"I dedicate the most time on Manta because only a small business-focused platform will help me find and target the right prospects for my business," said Allan Cooper, president of Bin There Dump That, a dumpster delivery service based in Florissant, CO. "Eighty-five percent of incoming phone leads are due to my online presence. Manta's features are giving my business a leg up and more importantly, they don't drain my budget like services from other platforms."

For more on the Manta 2013 Q1 SMB Wellness Index, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to http://www.manta.com/media/q1_wellness_index_041613.

About the Manta SMB Wellness Index
The Manta SMB Wellness Index is based on nationwide data compiled from new business licenses, DBA/corporate filings at city, county, and state levels, and is verified with multiple sources including utility information. Manta polled 1,235 small business owners, who are members of Manta.com and have claimed their Manta business profile, via an online Silverpop survey between March 26 and April, 1 2013. The margin of error is +/-2.98 percentage points.

About Manta
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for free at www.manta.com.

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