A recent survey sponsored by Network Solutions and the Center For Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business makes it clear that small businesses are finally tuning in to the importance of social media.
According to the survey, social media adoption doubled from 12% in 2008 to 24% in 2009. Many small business owners decided to launch a social media program as an inexpensive way to market their businesses: build brand awareness, engage with existing customers as well as find new clients.
Here are some of the highlights:
• A whopping 61% of the small businesses interviewed said they use social media as a method of both identifying and attracting new customer.
• 75% said they had a company page on a social networking site
• 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
• 45% believe social media will be profitable in the next 12 months.
The survey also unveiled the possible stumbling blocks for the small business owner. Half of the businesses interviewed felt that social media took more time than expected. 17% were concerned that social media opened the door to public criticism widely viewed on the internet.
But despite these negatives, an overwhelming majority (94%) said that social media has helped their business rather than hurt it.
Maybe it is time for you to think about integrating social media into your small business?