Sep 26, 2012 - Go Social    37 Comments

SMBs and Social Media in 2012

I’ve just read Path to Influence;- An industry study SMBs and Social Media it’s a very informative and hot off the press from Vocus , carried out in partnership with John Jantsch‘s Duct Tape Marketing.

The study looks at how SMBs- small and medium-sized businesses currently use social media, their concerns, challenges and how to dispel the notion that social media is free!

It appears that business owners and principles are starting to realise that the number of LIKEs and Followers that the company has on their Facebook page and Twitter account do not mean a jot if that audience is not engaged! “Hurrah for that!” I say.

These days it is in fact not helpful to Edgerank to have a Facebook page which has ooldes of people who have LIKEd the page but who rarely visit it again or even more frequently never returned to it. The numbers of pages where that happens is actually staggering!

The study found that 40% of SMBs are happier with a small a responsive engaged audience. On the other hand 27% of those who responded chose a much greater following that were quite! I’m thinking that these are the companies who haven’t yet ‘got it’ that Social Media is all about being social! Yet strangely this same group reported that they had found Social Media beneficial in their endeavours.

If you are not already au fait with Duct Tape Marketing do check them out.  John Jantsch has authored three excellent books, Duct Tape Marketing , The Referral Engine and The Commitment Engine. I have been appreciating information shared by him and his team since 2009. I became a member of the Duct Tape Online University and took one of the very first courses on using Social Media for Business which was not being taught by  those self proclaimed Gurus of the era, that taught businesses owners to flout Facebook’s terms and conditions.’ Clearly theirs was not a sustainable business model, offering no foundation on which to grow! They were quite a few of them mooching around in social spaces back then doing just that!

I’m thankful that my research led me to John and Duct Tape Marketing, you see using Social Media for business well involves knowing a vast amount. Being a user already before starting to use it in your business certainly helps, but most business owners are far too busy to put the time required;- even those who have the interest and the inclination don’t have the time.  Be under no illusion business owners that there is a vast amount of etiquette to observe, engagement to maintain, trust to build and relationships to be formed before businesses truly see the results and ROI of their Social Media endeavours and it requires a strategy.

Hope you find the SMBs and Social Media 2012 study findings interesting. I have also added a downloadable copy of Duct Tape’s latest publication ‘Total Online Presence’ Sadie





  • What a powerful post, Sadie-Michaela! I had not seen the expression SMB before, but I was using it without knowing it. Social Media are a minefield, and finding my way through it without destroying myself has been a challenge.

    I have taken the two downloads and am looking forward to using them as a map to find my way through the minefield!

    Thanks for this very informative post.


    • Thanks for stopping by Alan, I hope the download with be useful too 🙂

  • Sadie,

    You know I have almost a thousand “friends” on Facebook and I can count on one hand and one foot the number of people I consider engaged. People must feel a connection to another to be engaged otherwise the likes and the friendships are meaningless. My 5000 followers on Twitter are truly an empty resource.

    Thanks for helping me to put on the thinking cap about my social media participation. Time to do some rethinking.

    Very best,


    • Hello Rick

      You are not alone at all in this I’ve heard many people say the same!
      I heard about a super site the other day where you can check if your Twitter following are fake or not it over at

      I hope that this site will be able to provide the same service for Facebook in future. I have certainly seen a up surge in the number of blatantly fake profiles recently soliciting Facebook friendship from me! 🙂

  • Sadie- Michaela,

    You are so right. Many of the online gurus were spamming through social media. I had taken a training from Perry Belcher who really understood the online world. He gave a scenario of coming to a neighbor’s barbecue and attacking everyone with your business idea. instead, he explained that the goal is to talk, and shmooze and get to know each other and then someone will be curious and ask you what you’re doing – and then you can explain your business. And it works the same way online.


    Dr. Erica

    • Hello Dr Erica,

      That’s a really good way of explaining it! Thanks 🙂

      I say to people “Hopefully you would not go over to your neighbours house and start sticking up posters on their walls or garage door to advertise your new business, so don’t do it on Facebook either!” 🙂

  • Great read Sadie-Michaela! I will be the first to admit that until recently I was one of those who plodding along in social media – doing the best I could, but always wondering if there was a meaningful point to the investment in time and resources. Then two things happened recently to help me see where my investment is paying off – first I receiving a lovely congratulatory email from Google letting me know I’d been officially recognized in their authorship program. I’d been trying for over a year, but it wasn’t until I began to get active on Google+ that it finally happened. And then Facebook came out with their new ‘Offers’ promotion. I saw a few complaints from users who said it wasn’t working – then discovered it’s only available to those who have 400+ likes!

  • Sadie, Your post was so true about social media! I started getting involved with it in the last 12 months and I have gotten quite an education. I see so many people online who only have their own interests at heart and only share their own business info and do nothing to support you or your business endeavors. I work hard to share good content from a variety of different sources to benefit both my followers and the companies whose info I share. I will check out Duct Tape Marketing.

  • Hello Sadie-Michaela, Well what I had in the back of my mind is true!! I have heard that a small list of engaged people is far more beneficial than a huge unengaged list!! Makes sense… So off to the learning again to make sure I am getting it right!! Building that relationship thru the shmooozing is what is going to get you what you and your prospect want…. and that is a good thing.. you gotta know like and respect that other person you are going to do business with! Now how to do it on line, with all that is available!

  • I’m so glad that the way is finally shifting to engagement and conversation rather than numbers. Followers and likes mean nothing if there is no conversation. Interesting study, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Sadie,

    I hadn’t thought about “engaged” followers. This makes sense and I wish it was implemented long ago. I like the comment above about having thousands of facebook friends but not having many engaged. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great post Sadie. I have been speaking to local business owners and was surprised to find out that not only do they think everything about social media is free but that they only have to set up a page and it will work itself.

  • SMB is a new term for me too! Social media sites are great for meeting new people and finding like-minded people to talk to about business, etc., but it’s impossible to engage with all of my friends and followers. I wish I had the time to find ways of engaging more without spending all day at it. In the meantime, I appreciate tips like you’ve just given us, because every little bit helps.

    Willena Flewelling

  • Sadie,

    That studies had some very insightful information. What stood out to me was the data about push vs. pull on social media.

    I’m baffled to see that so many companies are still pushing instead of using social media as listening posts. I guess everyone isn’t suppose to get it huh?

    Great info!

  • Sadie-Michaela,

    Bonjour mon tendre ami, je prie que tout va bien et j’ai maintenant l’honneur de donner mon idée à votre recherche excellente trouvaille.

    I believe and live by interaction within our sites. You cannot have service without knowing people you are involved with. That can be as simple as setting up a questionnaire and having an incentive for completing it.

    If you start having someone post and article per week on your site that relates to the newest results and options of shoppers,clients. This will start a buzz within your network and allow for more people to get involved with bringing your site to life. Always be transparent.

    You are on of our great visionaries in our industry and I do thank you for allowing us to gain insight from your vast research.

  • Sadie,
    wow, this is interesting.. first I like to say a BIG thnk you for sharing your post here.. second, I like to share what come to mind as I read it.

    not only I learn a lot fro the simple way that you shared the info, but mostly, what I learned is that with great people like you who read great books on topicts as Social Media.. me, my self, who does not like to read thse books… learn so much, just by connecting with great people like you…’
    SO>>>>> THANK YOU 100 times again.

  • Hi Sadie-Michaela
    thanks for sharing. I’ve often used Duct Tape Marketing as a resource too. Recently after much thought I decided to use my facebook profile just for family and close friends and sent a message to ‘friends’ before removing them. It had just become such a mess. the newsfeed was chaotic and I was missing the most important posts. Yes it was great to say that I had so many friends but as you say in your article what’s the point of a large following that’s not engaged. It takes time to build up relationships with others and as much as we would like to take short cuts to success such short cuts simply don’t work.

  • Social media has been more of an education and harder to get than SEO was. As a matter of fact when I first started using it, I was only interested in the SEO benefits that being engaged on the social sites would provide for my website.

    Today however, I work really hard to ensure that I am providing quality information to my followers both on my profile and pages. But it really is a daunting task if your trying to manage your accounts on several different platforms.

    That being said, I would add that businesses need to really think about perhaps the two or three different social sites they want to use rather than trying to get a presence on all of them. Its easier to manage, and more fun to maintain engagement with your audience.

    • Whole heartedly agree with you Clint.
      It’s much better for businesses to concentrate on putting out great quality information, as you do, in a few places rather than to be spreading dross liberally all over the Internet! 🙂

  • Sadie, Thank you for sharing your insights from your wonderful readings with us. Some of us don’t have the time to pore through a book and glean great tidbits and gems, so I appreciate it when others share from what they learned.
    It is so true what you shared about social sites being social. Hmmm, that’s why they are called that. I have grown very slack over the summer with even hanging out on social sites. I am working on getting back into the “groove”.
    Once, again….I appreciate your fine article!

  • I totally agree with having a small group of people actually willing and interested is so much better than having a huge group of people that makes it look better but i the end if they are not willing and interested then there’s not really any point in them being there.

    Thank you,

    Regards, Jessica.

  • I’ve learned over time that things like the number of likes and followers don’t necessarily mean anything. There are always people who will be happy to like your page or follow you IF you do the same for them, but if these people aren’t engaged with your content and message, what is it worth?

  • Hi Sadie,

    thank you so much for sharing this very informative post and the Slide share.
    You have really brought the attention to how marketing with Social Media is changing. Wow, Facebook is second to last on the list.

    As you pointed out, unless the visitors who liked the page or follows us on Twitter is not engaged it doesn’t really matter how many followers we have.

    To your Success!

  • Hi Sadie-Michaela,

    I know what you’re saying about social media etc, I must admit that on my facebook page, Rolling Stones Tribute Band, I do get a lot of interaction at times, depending on my posts.

    Especially as there are millions of Stones fans out there that want to keep up with what these, ‘young lads are up to’

    kind regards John

    • Hello John, I can imagine you are never without an audience over there 🙂

  • Hello Sadie,

    As I was reading your article the only thing I could think about
    was Dani Johnson…in one of her cd’s she say’s “apply duct tape now”

    Most people talk too much while building their business.

    Thank you for the download I will check it out.


  • Hey Sadie,
    I come back to re-read yoru post and I am glad I did…

    I was just talking with a freind and she mention similar thinsg that I remeber reading here… so I shared with her… she was as amazed as I was to read it through and start re-thinking of what she have been doing on FB and Twitter and so on.. she never really though in teh way you shared it here.

    I thanked you before and I thank you again for sharing such a great information and so valuable these days.

    Thanks so much again.
    (I reply to you message about my post, but did not receive anything… hope you received it :-0 enjoy your French weekend).

    • Thanks Nick, good to hear you found it useful. 🙂

  • It is certainly nice to have a lot of people jumping into your social streams, Sadie-Michaela, but that’s not really THE purpose for developing social sites.

    Unless, of course, you’re simply trying to build a case for investors to be convinced that your business is “on the map”, and many SMB’s may be in that camp. I know several of them personally.

    Otherwise, the power of social media lies in it’s ability to help foster stronger relationships and trust with engaged, core followers.

    • Absolutely David, and an unengaged number on your Page does nothing for your Edgerank either! 🙂

  • Facebook have just changed their algo yet again so that even the most engaged users don’t get to see all your content in their newsfeed, particularly if you use third party apps to put it there 🙁

    • Pesky bunch! 🙂

  • Hi Sadie-M. I had to look again to see what an SMB is! I have struggled with my Facebook page, but I’m making an effort to get some engagement. I need to go back to the course I bought from Amy Porterfield. Thanks for giving me a little kick in the rear LOL. Your blog set up is very interesting – like a planner. Net!

  • Sadie Michaela,

    I knew this blog post looked familiar. I was planning to write about my experience with Perry Belcher – and then, lo and behold, I noticed that I had already posted a comment here a month ago. At least my thinking is consistent.


    Dr. Erica

  • Hi, Sadie,
    Very valuable content. This is similar to the saying, “It’s not the size of the list – it’s the relationship you have with your list.”

    Everything is about engagement and providing great content. Building relationships so people begin to know, like and trust you is tremendously important.

    We have to work hard to make sure we are not spammers and that we are helping people to solve their problems. That is when we will be successful.

    Take care, and have a great weekend.


  • Sadie thank you for this post. I am new to social media marketing and I enjoy learning everything I can. Your posts are very informative.

  • Hello Sadie- Michaela,
    Thanks so much for re-confirming to me what was my thought this morning speaking to a friend with whom we share our progresses and learnings.
    It’s not about numbers.
    Engaging takes time, heart and willingness to stretch out of our comfort zone.
    I have taken a commitment to engage with 3 people per day minimum so that the number of people in my social media become people that I respect I know rather than .. plain numbers.

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