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SMBs Should Harness Social Media To Reach Customers While Saving Money

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 9/21/2011

Social media accounts are an inexpensive way for SMBs to reach customers without breaking marketing budgets. Social networking sites allow businesses to personalize their profiles to offer as much or as little information as the company is comfortable sharing.

The current economic climate is negatively affecting small businesses in many ways, including marketing budgets. In an effort to reduce costs while remaining competitive, many small business marketers are turning to free social media accounts to communicate with consumers and remain relevant in the volatile marketplace.

Businesses Using Social Media

According to a survey by Zoomerang and GrowBiz Media, SMBs are not only investing time and money into the development of a strong website and marketing strategy, but social media activity is on the rise as well. According to the survey, 44 percent of U.S. SMB decision makers have used or are currently using social media this year, up 10 points from 2010. In addition, 59 percent of those respondents spend less than $100 dollars on social media marketing. Of the social media sites small businesses are using, Facebook is preferred by 86 percent of respondents, LinkedIn was the top choice for 41 percent, followed by Twitter with 33 percent.

As Facebook proved to be the most popular social networking site for small businesses, PC World recently identified ways to make an effective business page on the site. According to the news source, companies should add more than just their contact information and URL to their website on their Facebook page. Businesses should take advantage of the various features on the site by linking up a company blog to stream to the Facebook page, as well as update events, notes and videos pertinent to the business for fans and friends to see and share.

Once the page has been created, it is important for small businesses to designate an employee to maintain the page. The networking site is focused on encouraging communication, collaboration and sharing between its members, the source reported. Thus, an effective page must actively engage with consumers and friends, collect feedback, share stories and news, as well as provide valuable information to the public.

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