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Small and medium firms embrace social networks

Research by American City Business Journals, a publisher covering 41 major markets across the U.S., has found that social networks and social media marketing are now used extensively by small-to-mid-sized businesses.

“I agree completely,” said Delaney Boling, social media director at Boling Associates in Fresno. “Businesses are advertising on social media sites. It’s really picking up steam.”

The study looked at general use of the sites and not necessarily advertising.

Over the past four years, the percentage of small and medium business owners and key decision makers using social networks has risen three-fold, from 28 percent to 76 percent, according the American City Business Journals’ most recent small-medium business insights study. It found that business owners are not simply logging on for personal reasons.

Two thirds are currently using social networks like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ for business networking purposes. More than half have formal social media strategies in place while 19 percent confirm that they are generating revenues directly from the sites.

Not surprisingly, those engaged with social networks are more open to other alternative media options including 83 percent of social media marketers that use YouTube for business purposes.

Boling said he has seen the greatest amount of business social networking in Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. YouTube has worked well for companies that have produced commercials or have other kinds of visual programs, Boling said.

And Google+ is growing and useful, Boling said.

He added that use of social networks could boost a company’s search engine optimization, also known as SEO. “Companies are getting results and interaction,” Boling said.

The study found that overall, medium-sized business owners with social network strategies in place have strong sales averaging $7.1 million annually. Those companies have about 25 employees and have been in business for more than 28 years.

Businesses that use social media, which are the communication technologies run on social network sites, tend to be tend to be younger and more frequently run by woman and minorities.  Read More

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A Revolution in Social Networking

Posted on July 17, 2012, in #social media and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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