There is a great deal of debate on how effective social media marketing is for small business owners. I did a search using the phrase “social media a waste of time” and got tons of results expressing views that it was very effective and just as many with the exact opposite sentiment. I did a posting last week that described how email and other older forms of marketing were still viewed as very effective by many small business owners, but there were also some statistics in the article that stated that most small business owners were planning on using more social media marketing this year.
The survey results in the article were pretty impressive, 73 percent of the small businesses had used social media marketing and 81 percent of those businesses planned on an increased focus on it this year. 62 percent of small businesses that had not used social media were planning on trying it this year. So are these small businesses right in their increased focus in this area?
An article in Small Business Trends begins by describing how demanding owning a small business can be but than describes five areas that can be addressed more efficiently with social media than with any other means:
- Building Awareness
- Customer Support
- Staying Top of Mind
- Competitor Research
- Networking with Colleagues
So what have you experienced with social networking? Have you found it to be a valuable and time saving marketing tool or do you feel that it just wastes time/