If you’re running a small business and your market is primarily your local area, then social media may be of little value to business success.
The Pew Internet Study
A recent Pew Internet study looked at where people are getting information about local businesses. They found that most people are turning to the interent (51%), over newspaper (31%), word of mouth (23%), and TV (8%).
A small business website is critical for the success of your business. Since the turn of the century, the most important component of your small business has been a website. With the advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, there has been a growing push to have your business on these networks.
Social media may not be good for local business marketing . . . yet.
According the study, only 3% of the responders used social media to get information about a local business. Only 3%. This seems counter intuitive with so many people using the social network.
Social Network Fails
Social networks are great for connecting with people. They seem to work well for larger businesses that are marketing to build brand awareness and community. These companies spend a larger amount of time, energy, and money using social networks to grow their market share and build affinity to a brand.
Most local businesses use the web to gain more business and/or generate more leads. They are not trying to build brand awareness or develop community. There just isn’t enough time or money for most small business owners to divide their resources to develop a quality social media strategy that would generate a great return.
Social media is great for business, but it doesn’t seem to be ideal for most local business. There has to be strategic design to get a return.