Online Presence
Next year, SMBs are planning to focus on building more of their businesses online.

Research from j2 Global indicated that a general increase in online presence, including things as basic as setting up a website or online store, was the top priority for 2014 for nearly three in 10 SMB professionals surveyed. Automating marketing email function was the No. 2 priority for the group, while a comparatively small 13.4% were focused on mobile—one of the key areas of growth for marketers are larger firms.

When SMBs do take to mobile, however, Facebook rules: Nearly seven in 10 respondents said they either currently used or plan to adopt in 2014 Facebook for mobile marketing purposes. About 43% said the same of Twitter.

More than 45% of the US population will use the mobile internet at least monthly this year, a figure set to rise to nearly two-thirds by 2017. But small businesses have been slow to go mobile—not just in their advertising efforts, but even in something as basic as creating a mobile-optimized website that will put them conveniently in the hands of consumers on the go.

Nearly half of respondents to an April 2013 survey by ControlScan and TransFirst said they did not have a mobile-optimized website; an additional 17% did not know or were unsure, suggesting that up to two-thirds of small businesses surveyed were unprepared with mobile-optimized websites.

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