Social Media Not a Priority for Many Small Businesses

Survey Finds Most Respondents Don't Find it Helpful

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[ Social Media]

Citibank has released the results of a survey about small business social media use. According to Citibank, few small business owners and managers are increasingly using social networking sites.

Over 500 small business executives across the United States were surveyed, and 76% of them haven’t found sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to be helpful in generating business leads or expanding their business during the last year. 86% said they hadn’t used social networks to get business advice or information either.

Citi"Our survey suggests that small business owners are still feeling their way into social media, particularly when it comes to using these tools to grow their businesses," said Maria Veltre, Executive Vice President of Citi’s Small Business Segment. "While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them."

According to the survey, small businesses are relying much more on search engines than they are social media, or even small business-focused sites and WSJ.com.

42% of small business owners and managers say they’ve made greater use of their company’s website to generate business leads and sales in the last year. Among companies with 20-99 employees, 57% say they’ve made greater use of their sites. 28% are using email marketing and 25% are using online advertising for generating leads and sales.

Social Media Not a Priority for Many Small Businesses
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  • http://my.opera.com/baLecro2009ad/ Guest

    Social Networks have their market niche reaching their audience for worldwide causes but businesses most understand the major idea is I am in this for profit ;therefore, I have to put a lot of time and energy into this enterprise because it will fail if I do not make it grow. I believe in Social causes but they should not tie up a small businesses resources because in Economics Time is a very valuable commodity that has to be used wisely also you may want to view the thoughts in Economic terms Opportunity costs what you have to give up in order to get somthing and the answer is time

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  • http://www.lexolutionit.com Maneet Puri

    I dont understand why businesses fail to understand the value and importance of social media. Large organizations and big brands maty benefit easily with social media. However, even SMEs can gain from this. Social media is all about creating a presence and spreading the word

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  • http://www.virtuallyready.com Lisa Duhamel

    I’m going to guess they’re doing something wrong and need help?

    • http://www.baileyhillmedia.com Chris Bailey

      I’m guessing that there’s a lack of strategy involved in this issue. Most of the SMEs that I work with just see tools but don’t understand that effective social media is based on having a strategy with goals and metrics. Plus, I’ll also wager that they’re missing the ability to integrate their various channels: website, email marketing and social media all pulling together rather than operating in silos.

  • George Carson

    Like any new media, social networks are not as simple to understand by businesses on how they can help their company grow. So many take to stand that it is just a fad..well it isn’t. Social media is creating a new path for marketing. You either accept it and get involved or see your market share decline.

  • http://www.EnterHelloHello.net/mikefederko-presentation.php Mike Federko

    I am not real big on the socializing aspect of today’s social networks.

    Doing some internet marketing I felt I should get involved with a couple because it is “The thing to do”. I looked at the big ones, MySpace and FaceBook. They did not do it for me. MySpace seemed to be geared to a younger crowd and although FaceBook was a bit better I wanted something a bit different.

    A friend mentioned HelloHello. It was free to join so I decided to give it a try. Although the site is still in its infancy I have found it more business oriented than others. I have added sales to my other business through networking there. All in all I have found it to be a pleasurable experience and as the site grows so should my business. I give it two thumbs up!

  • Catherine

    Any sort of big-time shift in business strategy is long awaited with slow inception. Companies are still struggling for a foothold in exactly where each of the primary social networks can take them for heightened exposure, participatory marketing, consumer-led drivers and internal business culture.

    There’s so much you can do and undertake that it’s easy to flounder around, but ignoring it isn’t the answer. Consumers are going to demand a higher degree of transparency and certainly won’t be afraid to ask questions or call you out – as mentioned above, businesses big and small -really- have to get involved, and start to care. Gone are the days of print’s “This is what it is and you’re going to like it!”

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