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BizReport : Internet : June 08, 2015

Study: Most SMBs credit success to online community

Small businesses say online communities are pushing them toward success. That is the takeaway from a new Manta and Bank of America Survey. The data shows most (74%) of SMBs active in online communities credit their success to online communities with which they've become involved.

by Kristina Knight

"You get to become known as an expert. It helps build my credibility," says Bonnie Armstrong, Owner, Marketing Alliance. Small business owners trust the recommendations and advice more when it comes from peers who have relevant experience. Online forums are alive with entrepreneurs who are willing and eager to answer questions and give advice in the hopes of cultivating mutually beneficial relationships.

Some interesting findings from the Manta survey of more than 24,000 small businesses include:

• 30% of SMBs polled say they are active in online communities
• 26% participate in 5 or more communities
• 37% using online communities for marketing topics
• 25% say the 'most value' they get from communities is from connecting with colleagues

"I think this speaks volumes about the success Manta community members are experiencing," said John Swanciger, CEO of Manta. "Within Manta's peer community, small business owners are finding tremendous value in connecting and learning from one another. It takes the guesswork out of getting the answers small business owners need and provides an easy way for them to get direct advice from their peers."

Manta suggests SMB owners use online communities to build a professional contacts list as well as to network outside their specific industry. They also advise community member use these spaces to 'join up' with other businesses to offer rewards to consumers.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Manta, online community, online community tips, Small Business tips, SMB tips

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