[tweetmeme]If you are trying to reach and market to small business owners, what is the best social media channel to use. How do small businesses use social media to look for business information?
These are the questions that the latest survey from Business.com entitled “Engaging Small Business Decision Makers Through Social Media” seeks to answer. They interviewed 1,771 small businesses, which they define to be those with less than 100 employees.
The study found that:
- The most popular social media resources small businesses turn to are webinars and podcasts (67%), followed by ratings/reviews of products (63%), and visiting company/product profile pages on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (61%).
- Small business decision makers consider webinars and podcasts to be valuable resources for learning new skills and/or researching industries, products and services. Plus, there’s the added bonus of eliminating the cost of attending in-person seminars, including expense, travel time, and other reasons.
- Small businesses also turn to ratings and reviews of products or services they may need for their business. These includes reading the reviews in Amazon.com to making decisions on their inventory purchases based on customer reviews.
The results of the study surprised me, but found it very interesting. I did not realize how popular webinars have really become, since I rarely signup for one, and I’m also not a big fan of podcasts. However, compared to traveling to attend a seminar, I can see the value of getting information from webinars and podcasts.
If you are targeting other small business owners and trying to reach them, the study recommends the following:
- Develop educational webinars and/or podcasts
- Encourage, and carefully tend, online reviews of products or services
- Establish a presence on one or more major social networking sites.
- Participate in more focused online discussions such as LinkedInAnswers, Yahoo Answers, or Business.com Answers
- Further investigate if your target market is using Twitter for business, and develop a Twitter strategy
I highly recommend reading this survey, especially if you are trying to market your products or services to small businesses. You can download it for free at http://www.business.com/info/engaging-small-business-through-social-media