A new Citibank survey has verified that online and social media platforms are becoming a key driver to marketing success. Over 70% of small businesses report using online campaigns through their company website to grow their customer-base. Around 60% have used email ads to spread the word about their services, and just over 40% say they use social media platforms to promote the company.
This trend shouldn't be surprising, the internet and social media spots like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are some of the most heavily traveled areas on the web and there are endless networks of people who may be interested in your products and services. If you aren't taking advantage of these social utilities to promote customer awareness, your business is never going to reach its fullest potential.
Maria Veltre, Managing Director of Small Business Marketing & Customer Experience at Citibank comments on the trend:
"Although small business owners have been slower to adopt online marketing channels, they are clearly warming up to using these tools to target customers,"
"They are seeing that social media platforms can be an efficient and cost effective means to increase awareness of their business, engage with customers and, ultimately, to drive growth."
The survey reveals most business owners plan to capitalize on the trend even more in the coming months of 2012. A significant amount say they plan to increase marketing activity on their own websites (60%), and many (40%) also plan to utilize social networking to get the word out about their company.
Tracey Weber, Managing Director of Internet and Mobile for North America Consumer Banking at Citibank also adds her commentary on the findings:
"Today, the web is the first place consumers go for information on products and services,"
"The perception is that these channels are expensive and time-consuming, but the reality is there are simple ways to reach current and prospective customers online. Small businesses have a great opportunity to leverage online tools and social media to market their businesses and to help drive growth."
The bottom line is, if you're a business owner and you aren't exploring these online avenues to promote your services, you're missing the boat! If you're not tech savvy or aren't comfortable with social networking, find someone who is and hire them today! The cost will be worth the return.
The easiest way to access services is through the web. If people can't find you through a simple search, then most likely they wont find you at all. Make the investment, reap the rewards. It doesn't matter if you're old fashioned, your client-base doesn't have to be.