Facebook Tops List of Small-Business Social Media Sites
A large Facebook community of fans topped a small-business wish list of advertising tools, according to a Staples survey.Although small-business owners recognize the power of social media in engaging customers, most lack the expertise to apply the latest digital marketing tools to their companies, according to a survey conducted by office products giant Staples. A large Facebook community of fans topped a small-business wish list of advertising tools, outranking such traditional marketing tools as a celebrity endorsement or a Super Bowl advertising spot. Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by Twitter, were the leading social media channels small-business owners used, according to the survey. The most frequently mentioned goal for social media usage is engaging customers—cited by half of respondents—which edged out increasing sales (46 percent) and creating brand awareness (44 percent). More than half (53 percent) of small-business owners said they are either novices or do not consider how social media can help their business, 40 percent of small businesses feel that their social media channel use has helped their business, and 61 percent of small businesses use at least one social media channel.
To help make digital media easier for small businesses, Staples, in tandem with releasing the survey results, launched the Push It Forward contest, which will award three winning small businesses with $50,000 each in digital marketing funds. The grand-prize winner will receive paid digital marketing services, including assistance from a digital marketing agency; a free, one-year account with an online marketing specialist; and a one-hour one-on-one session with a small-business expert.