Social media may be all the rage when it comes to marketing, but small businesses (SMBs) are unsure about the impact of social networking on reaching customers, according to a recent survey.
The survey revealed that while 36 percent of small businesses believe their customers spend time on social networking sites, another 47 percent aren’t so sure about the medium’s popularity.
More importantly, however, small business owners are also conflicted about the use of social media for business purposes.
While 35 percent believe social media is a quick way to connect with prospective customers only a quarter believe their customers actually want to hear from them on social networks . More than a third, in fact, believe their customers do not want to hear from them through social media
However, small businesses that are proactively using social networking to reach customers are finding a strong return. Of the small businesses that indicated they will be using social media as the main tactic to drive new customers to their business in the next 12 months, 70 percent said they do so because social media is the least expensive option.
"Small businesses often think managing social media is time and resource-intensive, but many SMBs have found tools to help them make the process more efficient and effective," said Neal Creighton, CEO and co-founder of RatePoint, which conducted the survey. "SMBs need to talk to customers via social media so they can find how to meet customer needs, build relationships and make sales."
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