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BizReport : Internet : September 12, 2012

Manta: 90% SMBs networking online

When it comes to networking, more small businesses (SMBs) are looking to online outlets to reach more potential customers. According to a new survey of SMBs from Manta 90% of those surveyed spend time online networking to find more customers.

by Kristina Knight

Nearly three-quarters (74%) say online networking is as valuable as offline networking when it comes to their business.

"Small businesses understand they need to go where their audience is. Participating, networking and being found online is extremely important today in growing their business, so it's not surprising that they are embracing the channel," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "We're empowering members of the Manta community to create a comprehensive showcase for their company, products and services, and member profile all in one place. And, since more than 36 million people come to Manta each month searching for companies and their related products and services, these searches will now become even more valuable and more profitable for our members."

Some interesting findings include:

• 50% of those surveyed report the targeting of consumers is the biggest benefit to online networking
• 78% report they've gained at least 25% of 'new customers' from online or social networking
• 58% say they 'struggle to find' value in Facebook as a promotion tool
• Groupon and Pinterest, meanwhile, are returning dismal numbers for most surveyed

"Over time, I've realized that it's very important for me to maintain a consistent presence for both my business and myself online. More and more consumers, who are my prospective customers, are looking online for information about companies who offer remodeling services and architectural plans," said Joseph Buczek, President of Indiana and Missouri-basedLighthouse Construction and Restoration, Inc. "My presence on Manta allows me to expand awareness of both my company and myself as a small business owner online."

One quarter of respondents say their website drives the most engagement for them.

Tags: Manta, small business tips, small business trends, SMB tips

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