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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 20, 2010

Survey: SMBs confused with social media

Although several reports have more businesses going into the social space and marketing plans are being made to take advantage of social networks, it seems that one business segment is still uncertain how to tread. Small businesses, according to a recent RatePoint survey, are confused about how best to utilize socnets as part of their marketing plan.

by Kristina Knight

ratepoint.gifSmall businesses are also not convinced that the social space holds the impact that they need to engage and convert consumers. In fact while 36% of survey respondents thought their customers were socially active, 27% weren't sure to what extent and 20% didn't believe that their customers were utilizing social networks.

Are they? Metrics from both eMarketer and comScore indicate that consumers are not only visiting social networks, they are returning day after day, playing games, watching video clips and otherwise engaging with friends and brands. eMarketer reports that 57% of US online adults are active on social networks; by 2014 they believe that percentage in increase to at least 66%. Meanwhile, comScore reports that of the 50 most visited websites, Facebook ranks 4th behind search engines Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.

"Social media is no longer limited to one demographic, everyone is adopting," said Neal Creighton, CEO and co-founder of RatePoint. "While many small business owners are uncertain, big brands are investing heavily in social media. Social media can be a great equalizer for small businesses to compete alongside larger brands and SMBs are missing out if they are not involved."

What can small businesses do to compete? First, get in the game. Create a social profile with relevant information about products and services. Second, talk to your customers through socnets - ask their opinions, get involved in conversations and post product reviews. Third, use socnets to push campaigns - have a deal of the day? Tweet it, have a cool new video? Upload it - social networking does take a bit of time, but if the 20 minutes spent on a social network increases sales by 10%, isn't that worth the investment?

Tags: local marketing, RatePoint, small business advertising, small businesses, SMB advertising, social advertising, social networks

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  • Robert Samuel

    Great article Kristina. I think in the years to come, social media will be THE main method for marketing and advertising online (if it isn't already). :-)



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