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BizReport : Research archives : March 14, 2012

Manta: Referrals pushing more SMB growth

The headlines may be about social media, specifically LinkedIn and Facebook, but new data from Manta indicates that much of the growth for small business continues to be old school: referrals. Their recent survey found that, although social media and reviews are an important part of their business old-fashioned referrals are just as important.

by Kristina Knight

manta.gifSome interesting findings from the survey include:

• 78% of respondents say they've asked for a recommendation online
• 60% report they've offered a recommendation online
• 50% say they review recommendations online before deciding on a new vendor/business partner

"As the fastest growing online small business community with more than 3,000 small business owners joining Manta every day, we listen to our community and deliver the innovative tools and functionality that enable them to continue growing their business in new ways," said Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta. "The latest offering is an example of the types of features we are developing on and our mobile platform to help ensure small businesses can connect, recommend, learn and be found anytime, anywhere."

The new tools include Manta Recommendations, which gives small businesses the opportunity to request and offer recommendations for businesses with which they have worked. Once a recommendation is received, Manta allows the businesses owner to determine how best to use that information; the offering also has a widget so that businesses can request recommendations direct from their website.

Another tool, Manta Social Connections, gives SMBs the ability to connect to other businesses online, helping to grow credibility in the eyes of the consumer. It also allows users to 'Follow This Company' so that they're kept abreast of new offerings or products from small businesses.

Tags: Manta, recommendations, SMB tools, social marketing, social media trends

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