Implementing social media into daily customer interactions has helped small businesses see a surge in effectiveness for interacting with customers
As the use of social media across businesses is gradually being adopted SME’s have seen an increase in the effectiveness of social media to help market their business.
According to a 2011 study of nearly 2,000 businesses by Constant Contact, an online marketing company for SMEs, results showed that companies had increased opinion that using social media was easy and not time consuming.
The study saw an increase of 24% of businesses reporting social media was easy to navigate and a 45% increase of businesses saying it worked well with customers. In the survey of UK and US businesses, 81% reported that they dedicate a significant amount of time to social media, which is up 8% from last year.
The general manager of Constant Contact, Mark Schmulen, says that small businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the power of social media.
"Small businesses are still learning how social media marketing can help them grow their customer relationships. Just six months ago, they were learning the ropes and finding out what social media marketing tools were available, now they are beginning to understand more about what social media marketing can do for them."
Among social media marketing tools used Facebook was the number one in being the most effective with 86% followed by Twitter with 60% and LinkedIn with 55%.
Twitter saw the highest increase in reported effectiveness from last year by 13% followed by linked with 8% and Facebook with 4%.
Research revealed, however, that 72% of companies have not included mobile marketing into their business and only 13% have created mobile friendly websites. Even though mobile marketing has become mainstream just recently small businesses should consider investing in this area as it is increasingly becoming a preferred method of online interactions by consumers.
Twitter may see a large surge in reported effectiveness for next year as its redesign has many similarities to Facebook, including new profile pages for businesses.
Small businesses have started to become aware of the growing consumer desire to communicate across social media platforms and small businesses have started consistently communicating with consumers through social media, with 60% reporting this true.
"Plain and simple, customers want small businesses to interact with them, whether that’s on email or via their social media platform of choice, be it Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. It’s a great example of how small businesses are taking advantage of their smaller scale to make a huge impact with these tools," added Schmulen.