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Social Media & Small Business – Power to the SMB

- September 10, 2009 - 4 Comments

 Super Hero

According to the US Department of Labor, there are more than 1 million new businesses each year. Small businesses constitute more than 99% of all employers, employ more than 50% of the private workforce and account for 51% of the nation’s sales.

The SMB is important. Your business may be one. You may market and sell to SMBs. Or perhaps, it’s both. 

Regardless, there are some interesting statistics on the usefulness of social media for SMBs.

First, let’s talk a little about blogging. Many Cisco partners have expressed interest in starting company blogs and/or already implemented a blog. However, there are still questions about the ultimate impact of a blog. Does a blog actually help you drive business?

HubSpot, a Massachusetts-based maker of marketing software that helps businesses get found on the Internet and drives conversions from prospects to paying customers (Cool stuff. You should check it out.), did an analysis of 1500+ primarily SMB customers and compared those that blogged against those that do not.

Here’s what they found:  Companies that blog have better marketing results overall.

  • 55% more visitors – More visitors mean more potential prospects to convert to leads and customers.
  • 97% more inbound links – Inbound links give your site more credibility with search engines making it easier for your company, products and services to get found by interested prospects.
  • 434% more indexed pages – Blogs create additional pages on your site (as long as the blog is on the same domain). More pages on your site means more chances for you to be found on search engines.

Blogs, managed wisely, increase your search engine optimization. Check out the HubSpot study for more details and resources to get you started or optimize what you’re already doing.

Now let’s take a look at how SMBs are using Twitter. A study by Warrillow asked small business owners about their preferred usage of social media. Options ranged from gathering information to business networking to problem resolution.

Twitter topped the list on the topic of finding promotions and discounts. In fact, in the SMB market, business owners were seven times more likely to use Twitter to find deals than other social networks. When the business owners were under 29 years old, the ration jumps to 35 to 1 in favor of Twitter. 

Warrillow Study - SMB Use of Twitter

What does this mean for you? If your ideal customer profile includes SMB companies, then Twitter may be a good platform to reach them. If SMB companies are already there, fish where the fish are.

Does this information help you make a business case for incorporating social media into your marketing mix?

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  1. I agree, the SMB market is well-served by Social Media. I find SMB companies on Twitter everyday - and I find companies in every category I've explored (software, healthcare, you name it).I've had a blog for 5 years and I know it's helped me with credibility too - which is important in the growing virtual nature of business.

  2. Social media is vital for modern day business and without embracing this technology businesses may become stuck.

  3. Marc - Thanks for the comment. The post mentions blogging as well as Twitter and references that the graphic from Warrillow is specific to Twitter. I will plan on covering LinkedIn in a future post.

  4. The graphic is not Apples to Apples. In the graphic Social Media is being presented as Twitter"" which is an application within a general marketing classification of Social Media. While Social Networks are being presented as a general classification as opposed to a straight comparison with a prominent application such as Linked In. This would have made it much more insightful."