One out of every four small business owners doesn’t trust social media, according to a recent survey by iContact, an email and social media marketing company.
The reasons for the distrust ranged from businesses believing social media was “an enormous time commitment” to the belief that social networks benefit only those that can “manipulate the system.”
"Small business owners are a great barometer for these social products and platforms, because when something helps them hire, sell, or otherwise proves valuable, they're passionate proponents," said iContact CEO Ryan Allis in a statement. "But when they are strapped for money and time, they're quick to say if something is not worth the investment of either."
Seventy percent of the small businesses polled said they "hated" Groupon. The survey also revealed that while 76 percent of respondents favored Facebook, only a third of small business owners in finance and insurance were fond of it. The biggest fans of the social network were in the nonprofit and education categories.
Other findings from the survey:
- 54 percent of small business owners "love" Twitter; 46 percent "hate" it.
- Businesses with 25 employees or less were more likely to "hate" Twitter.
- Businesses that made more than $100 million were more likely to "love" Twitter.
- 52 percent of respondents were not convinced of the potential of Google+.
- 63 percent were fans of LinkedIn.
- Businesses with fewer than 50 employees were more likely to "love" LinkedIn.
- 82 percent of people in the professional services sector said they "loved" LinkedIn.
"Social media is a great way to be a part of a conversation that is already happening about your brand, products, or industry,” says Chelsea Clements of Tarte Advertising. “Users will have the conversation whether you are a part of it or not, so why would a brand not want to take part?
Clements also feels that social media should be seen as a way to build relationships with customers, and not as a platform to solely promote one's business. “Yes, social media does require time, but so does face-to-face interaction with customers who come into a store," she says. “Why should a digital interaction lack the same attentiveness that one receives in-store?”
Clements also notes several stats that jewelers should consider when planning their digital strategy:
- 61 percent of people plan to research the perfect holiday gift via social networks. Of those, 72 percent will start on Facebook.
- An average of 32 percent of “likes” on a brand's Facebook page come from current customers.
- Online luxury purchases rose from 68 percent to 83 percent from 2010–11.
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