Does your business see social media as a necessity? Surprisingly, 43% of small- to medium-sized U.S. companies still rely mainly on word of mouth and see social media as a sideline marketing technique.
A study conducted by a small-business insurance provider, Hiscox, in June 2011 shows that mid-sized U.S. businesses are apathetic about using social media. The majority of polled business decision-makers declared, “It’s not necessary to my business” and only 12% declared “It is a must. I do it all the time”.
Social media marketing is catching on among small- and medium-sized businesses as more and more research continues to suggest it is easy to use, cost effective and enhances customer interaction. However, in a secondary study conducted by Hiscox, 50% of the same respondents answered that word-of-mouth recommendations are still their most essential marketing tool.
Undeniably word of mouth will remain a brand marketing tool and essential for small business growth. But the social media evolution is changing how we communicate, so much so that word of mouth is transforming into word of web.
Customer intelligence has skyrocketed, making it a common practice to Google companies and employees, read reviews, search for news, publicly post complaints and look to friends to suggest great companies. Instead of asking a neighbor, “What’s the best daycare around here?” consumers are looking to see if someone they trust mentions (or posts photos!) of a great daycare on Facebook.
Among the businesses using social media marketing, the most popular outlets are Facebook and LinkedIn based on their ability to give customers a voice, gain customer feedback, provide a platform for customers to spread the word and amplify recommendations to a larger audience.
Where does your business fit on these charts? Does your website rank second best as a marketing tool? Would you like to improve your blog or traditional PR? If you feel your business is slipping behind the digital curve, let us transform your marketing tool set and teach you how to improve all of your current marketing techniques.
Good Stuff Jaclyn. I agree – to me social media, like the telephone, is a way people send word of mouth recommendations. It allows people to stay connected with much larger networks. Glad to see Web sites up there though. I like to think we do more than build Web sites, we build networks.