• 09Mar

    I often get interesting tidbits from clients and professional contacts. My associates at Gumas Advertising recently sent me an interesting item from MediaPost that shows that social media is on the rise with small and medium-sized businesses. This from an interesting research post on “Social Media Adoption Yields New Customers For Small Businesses”:

    “The third wave of the Small Business Success Index, by Network Solutions and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, reports social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year. Small businesses are increasingly investing in applications including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.”

    Social media is working for everyone looking to expand their business. Key findings from this latest survey include:

    • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
    • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
    • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
    • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next 12 months

    Businesses are finding that they can cost-effectively prospect for new customers through social media outlets (61%), and they can expand brand awareness without breaking their budget. And social media is a great way to interact with customers.

    Of course, there are downsides as well. Half of those surveyed said that social media takes more time than expected. And 17% suffer from what I call Yelp! Syndrome and are afraid that social media leaves them open to public criticism; and 6% feel social media has actually hurt their businesses more than helping build business.

    Still, social media continues to be the new driver for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s cost-effective, and has proven itself as a means to promote customer loyalty and bring in new customers. And that’s good news for consultants. As Janet Wagner, director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland who is quoted in the research, says that “Social media levels the playing field for small businesses… ” And it provides new areas of opportunity for those of us who can help businesses harness social media.

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    Posted by Tom Woolf @ 11:11 pm

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