The Importance of Social Media

We all know the Internet has forever changed the way a business sells a product or service to its customer, and one aspect of the digital world in particular is having a profound impact on brand recognition and lead generation. In a new study conducted by LinkedIn, titled Priming the Economic Engine: How Social Media is Driving Growth for Small and Medium Businesses, the social media company found that a majority of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are turning to social media to grow their company. SMBs are looked upon as proverbial engines for our economy due to the more than $5 trillion dollars in revenue they produce each year. About 81% of SMBs are using social media and 94% of them are doing so for marketing purposes, according to the study.

Social media is even more important for “hyper growth” companies; those that have reported significant revenue growth year after year. According to the study from LinkedIn, 16% of the businesses surveyed were “hyper growth” companies, and 91% of those “hyper growth” companies said that social media helped increase awareness of their brand, while 82% said it helped them generate new sales leads. The greatest challenge today for SMBs is attracting and retaining customers, so this study is a clear indicator of the value that social media is providing to growing companies.

Data such as this is important to LinkedIn because many of the users are small business entrepreneurs. LinkedIn has also announced a website devoted to helping SMBs to better utilize growth and marketing purposes. However, the data is similarly supportive to other social networks that are competing for company advertising dollars, namely Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook has a lot to gain by attracting advertising for small businesses as well. The platform has more than 1 million advertisers and 25 million active business pages. Clearly, there is a lot of potential for advertising revenue. Twitter has expanded its self-serve advertising overseas to try and attract SMBs in Canada, the UK and Ireland. This expansion proves that Twitter sees value in smaller advertisers.

To read a full write-up on the LinkedIn study, click here.

The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital.  Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.  

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