Social media can help any business increase their awareness and develop a loyal customer base. For small businesses it can be a particularly powerful tool. Social media can help small businesses compete with larger organizations and efficiently connect with customers. A recent study has come out that looks at how small businesses are using social and the solutions they employ. Indications are that small businesses are not taking advantages of the opportunities available with social media. Well over half of small businesses currently do not use social media to engage with their customers – over 30% do not plan on getting involved in social media in the next year.
Among small businesses utilizing social media:
• 15% participate in industry specific online communities or industry specific social media communities
• 14% take part in relevant LinkedIn forums and discussions or post comments on related blogs
• 12% are engaged with Twitter and nearly one in 10 post company videos to YouTube
• 9% have company branded blogs or and involved in user review sites
• 5% utilize group coupon services like Groupon or use social bookmarking sites like Digg
• Less than 5% work with geo-location services like Foursquare
What Does This Mean To You?
For companies’ not using social media – you are missing a golden opportunity to actively engage customers and leverage your standing in the community. Social media is partly about you promoting what you offer and what sets you apart. But it’s biggest benefit comes from your customers endorsing the benefits of doing business with you and telling their friends why you are their choice for shopping. If you are currently doing social media – what does your social media strategy look like?
Just having a Facebook page does not equal social media marketing.
How are you dealing with negative comments?
Do you reward positive commenters?
What are you doing to promote social sharing?
What do you post?
How often do you post?
Is mobile part of your social strategy?
The social media landscape shifts very quickly. Those shifts in functionality, usage patterns and demographics can have a big affect on how well social media performs for your business. For more information on how to maximize results from social media, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Advertising Research Manager
Source: eMarketer, SMB Group