In a 2011 survey completed by Citibank, 36% of small business owners that were polled stated that they were using social networking sites to promote their business. This is more than double of the 19% that were engaging in social media a year ago. Social Marketing will surely be growing at a faster pace by 2012. Especially with the current mobile shift, social media networking for small businesses will be a necessity.
In a report carried out by the Small Business Success Index™ (SBSI), it was found that one out of five small business owners are actively using social media strategies to engage customers and expand their market.
The same report found the following in social media sources and usage:
Generate Leads: Build interaction and build leads by connecting with fans.
Build SEO: Optimize your current sites by link building and social bookmarking.
Monitor your Demographic: Analyze and keep an eye on your brand’s presence and reputation.
Pay Attention: Direct Message (DM) fans and followers and start conversations with consumers who can possibly spread the word of your good business practice. Gain as much interaction as you can!
Deals and Promos: Group buying, incentives, and loyalty programs through social networking services are all helping small businesses boost customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer is the best business strategy.
Tools and Applications: There are a variety of tools and applications available for small businesses (and many are free). These applications can gather research and gain an inside look on your customer.
These numbers are only going to grow. Social media is no longer in an early adopter phase where people are still experimenting or learning about the trend. Many have accepted that social media is here to stay and businesses, large and small, are learning to generate revenue with these tools.
Still not a believer? Learn more with Facebook 101!