Small Business….Need a Jolt in Your Social Media?
The Internet has been blowing up lately with new surveys, info-graphics and polls describing how effective and ineffective small businesses are in using social media. If you ask me, it’s all a load of crap. What do these complex statistics mean and more importantly what should we believe? What these surveys fail to reveal is if small businesses are actually using social media to its full potential. Companies need to ask themselves: are they making money, is this an effective marketing tool, and are social media furthering the developing of their businesses? Lately, the answers to these questions have been, not really.
Manta surveyed 600 small businesses across the U.S. and found out that 90% are “engaging” in social media, 74% believe that online networking is more valuable than in-person networking, and that the most valuable benefit of social networking is attracting new customers. This information seems vital and useful for small businesses but it doesn’t mean much if a company is simply “engaging” in social media. Guess what, billions of individuals are engaging; businesses have to take it the next level.
Vocus partnered with Duct-Tape Marketing and surveyed 400 small businesses and discovered that 87% of small business owners believe that social media has helped their companies grow, and 77% said that social media accounts for 25% of their marketing tactics. Many of these businesses admitted to putting little effort towards their social media presence online.
And lastly, a survey from eMarketer revealed that 25% of small businesses said they use social media in a structured way, while 20% use social media in an informal way (these percentages are very low).
The data shows that small businesses want to be engaged in social media but they are just barely skimming the surface. It’s great to get likes and re-tweets but is it bringing you closer to accomplishing your goal?
Small Businesses need to narrow their social media traffic down to meaningful and purposeful conversations. It’s not just about promoting awareness of your product; it’s about building relationships that will affect your business in a positive way. If you want the benefits (such as making money): make time and dedicate someone strictly to managing your company’s social media. Creating a Facebook and/or Twitter page is not enough; you need to interact with your followers, make connections, and keep them coming back for more!
Forbes offers some quick tips to work on:
- Write down the results you want
- Assign a social media manager
- Post valuable and unique content
- Engage, engage, and engage!
Have an opinion about small businesses and their play in the social network? Let us know what you think!