Social media, a new paradigm among small businesses…are you in?

It is amazing how quickly usage of social media is penetrating our society.  It seems like just yesterday that the world changed with the introduction of desktop computers and e-mail.  Can you imagine not having e-mail?  We would actually have to pick up the phone or walk down to a co-worker’s office. Oh the horror!  Clearly I am jesting.

But the paradigm shift that is social media appears to be ramping up in the small business area.  Based on a study done late last year by EMPLOYERS that I reported in my blog  Small businesses…it’s social media calling…what are you waiting for? less than 20% of small businesses were using social media for their business.  Well guess what?  It’s even more now!

Check out these statistics from a study recently conducted by FedEx Office and Ketchum

  • Over a third of small-business owners (36%) reported they would be growing their businesses with social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—up from 24% just one year ago.

Another important finding that relates to the health of small business is 42% of small-business owners said they would increase spending on advertising and marketing this year overall. That’s good news…speaks to optimism in this sector.

Ways in Which US Small Business Owners Plan to Grow Their Businesses, 2009 & 2010 (% of respondents)

Here’s more good news as measured by Constant Contact.   Their recent survey also found small businesses optimistic about their economic prospects in 2010—70% of small businesses expect to grow this year.

  • At 92% and 88% respectively, website and e-mail marketing were a seen as a bigger priority than social media in 2010, but Facebook was considered important by about half of respondents.
  • And, more than one-quarter said blogs (29%), LinkedIn (27%) and Twitter (26%) were other key tools for marketing their business.

 

Marketing Tactics/Tools that US Small Businesses Consider Important for Marketing Their Business, April 2010 (% of respondents)

 

Social media truly is a paradigm shift as it relates to not just marketing but relationships overall.  How are you going to capitalize on this paradigm shift?  Will you be left behind? 

Happy marketing!

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