Small businesses are preferring social networks for their business expansion, marketing plans, as it has got wider reach and is easily accessible to people belonging to all walks of life.
MerchantCircle, conducted a survey on 1.3 million members and found out that, small businesses are significantly preferring social networking services like Twitter, location based services and online videos for promoting their products and services.
50% of 1000 respondents (41% in the 1st three months of this year) were planing to create social networking presence, in the next three months.This is the highest figure reported, ever since the survey started a year ago. Tens of thousands(up by 3 times a year ago) of small businesses are found to advertise on Facebook, up three times from a year ago. It was found that more than 1 million small businesses have accounts on Facebook reaching hundreds of millions of customers. 8% more merchants are willing to use Twitter now than in first three months of the year. This shows an increased awareness among the business owners about the benefits of social networking.
Coming to the adoption of location-based services, 32% (25% in March) of owners familiar with Foursquare use it. According to University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, the percentage of adoption of social technology in U.S doubled from the past year, to 24% from 12%.
However, in a contrasting finding by HipChat, it was concluded that increase in adoption of social networks does not lead to increase in profits. Of the 2000 small businesses it works, it reported that only few businesses had benefited because of social networking. According to Complete Online Shopper Intelligence study, some consumers show resistance to accept social media as a shopping resource.
These studies suggest that promotion through Facebook and Twitter is found to be cost effective by small business in reaching millions of customers, hence this leads to the increased preference of these channels.