Every now and then here at Brandsplat, we sit down to write a serious blog. The topic of money is just about the only thing that gets us this serious. And we’re hoping you’ll take our message today seriously, too: After all, it’s your money we’re talking about. Read on!
Still think you can grow your small-to medium-sized business (SMB) without a concentrated social media effort? If you can, you’ll be in the vast minority, according to a new survey of financial decision makers at U.S.- and Canada-based SMBs.
TNS, a leading market research firm, conducted the study of nearly 1,000 North American SMB professionals who are charged with growing businesses with revenue of anywhere between $1 million and $50 million. The study, which was commissioned by LinkedIn but which sourced data from the Small Business Association, Dun and Bradstreet, Goldman Sachs and others, found that “engagement with social media presents a lucrative marketing opportunity.”
“Building relationships with prospects in this community is a much easier task when SMBs are reaching out for information, and willing to engage in conversation with financial providers,” notes Jennifer Grazel, a marketing blogger for LinkedIn. For example, a full 90% of those surveyed find social media to be “a highly effective way to maintain brand presence and identity,” and 82% believe it is “a meaningful source of lead generation.”
What’s more, there’s also a high correlation observed by those surveyed between their use of social media and the “hyper growth,” or significant year-over-year increase, of their business.
Simply put, investing in social media results in business growth.
But that’s not all those surveyed use social media for. Business insights and networking aren’t to be ignored, Grazel adds. Just less than half (49%) of SMBs use social media to learn about their markets, connect with their peers, discover best practices, learn from other experts and get answers on business-related questions. In other words, social media use among successful, growing businesses is truly a two-way street.
Now, while we hate to say that we told you so, we told you so. If you’re still not convinced, try putting a note on your calendar for three months from now and check those YOY numbers. If you can achieve hyper growth without investing in social media, Great. But let’s say you’re finally ready to take the plunge but just too busy to dive in personally. No worries — we know a few people who can help.