One of my primary interests in the social media landscape is its application in a small business. Being a veteran online marketer and a social media loyalist, I know that social media offers a tremendous business opportunity to small businesses and SMEs which often operate on limited budgets.
I came across the recently published Small Business Success Index report, which confirms my strong belief that social media and small businesses are made for each other. The report which is jointly published by the University of Maryland and Network Solutions, clearly reflects that social media is all the rage in small businesses these days.
Social Media Risk & A Small Business– Made for each other!
It’s often said that “Perfect marriages are made in heaven”. The social media – small business marriage is an exception, it’s very much made on earth and the social media community and small businesses are responsible to make it work.
The SBSI report provides some interesting statistics.
- Nearly 61% of small business owners are using social media to identify and track new customers
- 75% have a company page on at least one social networking site
- 45% expect to see profits from social media this year
- 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
- 9% consider internet technology to be important to their business
- 26% use online advertising, more than other businesses (18%)
- 72% expect to make a profit from using social media
It’s heartening to see that small businesses are leveraging social media to its full potential. Their social media usage it not limited to advertising and marketing alone, rather it forms an indispensable component of their strategy for innovation and customer service.
So, how does a small business indulge in social media?
The report indicates
- Websites remain no. 1 priority for a small business
- Small business exports decline while buying supplies from outside the U.S. increases
- Access to capital continues to be a roadblock for small business growth
Creative thinking, the determination to push the limits coupled with the benefits of social media is helping a small business boost their revenues. Unfortunate as it is, innovation often takes the back seat for small businesses which operate on tight budgets and stringent deadline pressures. Social media and innovation go hand in hand and since accessing social media tools doesn’t cost a fortune, it doesn’t deteriorate the overall financial health of a small business.
IMO, the lack of innovation is more often than not a major reason why many small businesses fail to survive, especially when the economic scenario isn’t business-friendly.
One of the key findings of the SBSI survey is that successful adopters of social media have not only managed to weather the economic storms, they have grown their business footprint exponentially. Business is changing and social media’s dynamic nature makes it a perfect ally for changing small business needs.
How does your small business use social media? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.