Note: This week on the Wednesday edition of my Blog Talk Radio show, Talk Business With Howard, the special guest will be Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Rieva is a recognized authority on small business. Thank you, Rieva, for being a guest on the radio show and for writing this guest blog post. -Howard-
Get Social by Rieva Lesonsky
Are you enjoying a good social life? No, I’m not asking about your dating life or how many parties you attend—I’m talking about your life using social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. While some small business owners have been slow to embrace social media, for those who have, it’s made a real difference in their marketing ROI.
Don’t believe me? The latest “j2 Global Small Business Opinion Survey” polled more than 1,000 small businesses nationwide and found a growing number of small business owners are relying on social media as a key part of their marketing mix. What’s more, they’re seeing results.
The j2 Global survey found that although small business owners still rely most heavily on more established marketing methods, such as email marketing and online search, social media is fast becoming “the great equalizer,” putting a small business on an equal footing with bigger competitors and enabling them to engage with customers, spread the word about their businesses and more
More than one in three small businesses surveyed by j2 Global (39 percent) say that one-quarter of their marketing strategy is now focused on social media, and 26 percent say social media accounts for half or more of their marketing strategy. In other words, nearly two-thirds of small businesses are making social media a major part of their marketing platform. Are you?
If not, it’s time to get in on the action. Where are small businesses seeing the most success with social media? Here’s what j2 found:
Facebook is the most valuable social media platform for 37 percent of respondents. Next in line were LinkedIn (24 percent) and Google+ (18 percent).
Which social media platform small businesses prefer varies by industry. For instance, restaurants use Facebook the most, consultants use LinkedIn the most, medical professionals prefer Google+ and e-commerce businesses rely on Twitter. Somewhat surprisingly, YouTube was the preferred platform for high-tech firms.
Pinterest, the newest social media site, was rated most valuable by just 1 percent of respondents. I’m willing to wager that will change soon, as Pinterest is proving to have value for retail, restaurant and home décor companies.
Have you come around to the value of social media yet? If not, your small business could be getting left behind.
Rieva Lesonsky is the CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company with a focus on small business and entrepreneurship. A nationally known speaker, bestselling author and considered an authority on small business. Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Prior to GrowBiz Media, Rieva was the long time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. She can regularly be seen on MSNBC’s Your Business. Check out Rieva’s SmallBizDaily.
Remember to listen in on the discussion with Rieva on Wednesday, September 19th at 11 AM/ET about small business success, entrepreneurship and social media. To go to the show page and listen to the live broadcast, click here. The replay of the show will also be posted to this blog post on Wednesday afternoon. So bookmark this page now!