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