Most small business owners are marketing online

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Small business owners say online is the place to be – that is where they gain and target prospective customers.

Small business owners are putting an increased emphasis on establishing and promoting themselves online to network and increase their customer base, according to a survey by Manta, an online site for small businesses.

Ninety percent of 614 small business owners surveyed said they dedicate time to networking online and 74 percent find networking online just as, if not more, valuable than networking in person, the survey results show.

Nearly 50 percent of small business owners said the most valuable benefit of networking online is gaining and targeting prospective customers. And, 78 percent said they gained at least a quarter of their new customers through online or social media channels this year.

“Small businesses understand they need to go where their audience is,” said Pamela Springer, Manta CEO.  “Participating, networking and being found online is extremely important today in growing their business, so it’s not surprising that they are embracing the channel.”

Ninety-seven percent of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area, Springer said.  Those searches regularly include company name, product/service, or business owner.

It is critical small businesses build awareness of themselves and their company online, she said.

Some small business owners said they still struggle to navigate and use the Internet successfully. Fifty-eight percent of small businesses said they have a tough time finding value in using Facebook to promote their business or don’t have a web page.

Pinterest and Groupon, channels considered to be popular with consumers, turned out to be the most unfruitful online channels for small businesses, receiving a 1 percent and less than 1 percent response, respectively.

On the flip side, nearly 25 percent of small businesses surveyed say their company website drive the most business for them.



2 Responses to Most small business owners are marketing online

  1. An EX-client said to me (just yesterday), “I didn’t see it at first but all my new business is coming from online. Will you PLEASE take me back?!?” Online marketing is much more vast than most business owners imagine! A *good* online marketing consultant will optimize your marketing plan, pay for their salary with the savings and get you more leads than you can imagine!

    I wish more people realized this!

    B. Joseph Burch

    September 16, 2012 at 3:29 am

  2. “Fifty-eight percent of small businesses said they have a tough time finding value in using Facebook to promote their business”

    I’m not surprised.

    Facebook for small business has been ridiculously overhyped. It amazes me that I go into someone’s store and there’s a sign that says “Like us on Facebook.” How about a sign that says “Visit our website for special deals and coupons”? Why build Facebook’s brand at the expense of your own?

    Get those customers to visit your site. Capture their email addresses for your mailing list. I promise this will grow your sales.

    Forget Facebook!

    Charleen Larson
    September 16, 2012 at 7:00 am