According to a report out from LinkedIn, 4 out of 5 (81%, they say) of all small and medium businesses now use social media.

I think that number is bogus.

Right now I’m sitting at my desk in Arnold Missouri, a small Midwest town of 20,000 just south of St. Louis (aka baseball heaven).  My office is situated in a strip mall.  Surrounding me are the following:

  • an insurance agency
  • a health clinic
  • a men’s haircut place
  • a chiropractor
  • a laundromat
  • a pet wash/gift shop
  • a daycare
  • a dance studio

Of these businesses, the first two are satellite offices, part of a larger organization.  So I’m sure if you consider that organization, both of them are using social media.  If you count the actual office, I highly doubt they’re using any social media to market their place.

The haircut place doesn’t even have a website.

The chiropractor is old and doesn’t want anything to do with the Internet. No website either.

The laundromat doesn’t have a website, but does have their Google Places listing claimed.  They have no ongoing usage of any SM network.

Same situation for the pet store. They do, however, have a very poorly done website.  No social usage.

The daycare has a website, but relies on being across from a major school campus for nearly all their customers.  Their website hasn’t been updated in 4 years.

That leaves the dance studio.  Of all the businesses in here, I’d expect them to have a social presence, which they do.  They have a facebook page and an antiquated website.  (It’s really a shame, I think they have the best opportunity when it comes to social media – can you imagine parents posting pics of their little girls in cute tutus ready for their dance session? Or the studio owner posting pictures of their newest dance shoes? Yet they do none of this.  They posted to Facebook a mere 7 times in 2013.)

That puts my particular strip mall at about a 7% usage, if that.  And I really doubt that any other local strip mall is much different.  In fact, I bet a poll of every business registered in the Arnold MO Town Hall would still yield me a 10-15% usage range.  Not 81%.

Perhaps if this were Silicon Valley, the numbers would be different.  But here in Joe Average Midwestit’s no where near that and the real social media gurus should say that.