In a recent online survey, more than 9 out of 10 small businesses owners who responded use social media networks as an online marketing business tool. While those results probably don’t apply across the board to all small business owners, it certainly indicates a trend that many small businesses are engaging their customers through venues such as Facebook, FourSquare, and LinkedIn.
With so many of their potential customers already online, small business owners can’t ignore the world of online placement and marketing. More than 11 million businesses are using Facebook as a tool to obtain new clients. FourSquare, which is an application that allows its users to “check in” to the locations and businesses they visit, has been another social media site to prove beneficial to small businesses. Over 750,000 businesses use this service as an online marketing tool, offering special discounts to users who check in at their establishments.
A third very popular social media site that benefits both job seekers and small businesses is LinkedIn. According to recent data that LinkedIn collected, there are 6, 874,850 business professionals currently networking on LinkedIn. The professional networking site has proven to be an excellent resource for employee recruitment, event organization, and networking with other professionals in related fields.
These social media sites are not the only online marketing tools that small businesses have taken advantage of. They are finding value in Twitter and Google + as well. A survey found that 87% of small businesses said that social media sites such as these have been somewhat helpful, or even helped a great deal. While the majority of business owners use social media primarily to share information, it was found that 46% of the respondents use these sites to handle customer service issues. Overall, more than three quarters of the small businesses in this survey indicated that social media makes up a quarter or more of their total marketing efforts.
With Facebook having over 950 million active users, FourSquare having 20 million users and 2 billion check-ins, and LinkedIn having over 100 million users, it’s easy to see why small businesses are going online to social marketing platforms in order to promote their businesses. The online marketing trend is expected to continue with the increasing popularity of social networking and online review websites.
Rogers, Kate “How Three Small Business Owners Use LinkedIn Effectively” 9/20/12
Eddy, Nathan “Social Media Platforms Prove Beneficial To Small Businesses” 9/13/12
5StarControl.com “Social Media Networks Used By More Than 90% of Small Businesses” 9/24/12