What Role Will Social Networking Sites Play for Small Businesses in 2011?

Most people are aware that social networks are a great place to chat with family and friends and now embrace these sites as a routine part of their social life.  It is also obvious that businesses are taking advantage of social media as well.  More small businesses than ever before began using social media in 2010 and it looks like 2011 will see even greater involvement by these companies.

Small Businesses Put Social Media to Work

The results of a survey by SalesSpider shows that many small and medium sized businesses will make social media a big part of their marketing plans for 2011.  The survey polled the owners of 384 small and medium businesses.  Two-thirds of those surveyed believed social networks had helped to boost their sales and revenue, with 40 percent saying the increase was ‘significant’.  A full 75 percent of the business owners said that social media will play an even more important part in their media mix in the coming year.

Small business owners said they feel social networking is an excellent way to generate new business leads and to connect with other businesses people to exchange ideas and help educate each other.  It also helps them stay in touch with current trends and consumer needs.

Social Networks are Affordable Means of Marketing

One of the reasons business owners are able to utilize social media so effectively is that it is not a big financial investment.  In fact, the main investment they have to make is in time.  The survey showed that most of the owners plan to invest 11percent more time on social networking sites than they did in 2010.

Social networking sites help level the playing field for business owners.  Those who must deal with limited budgets have the same opportunity to take advantage of this marketing tool as do businesses with much stronger financial muscles.  By being active in chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking arenas, and using savvy networking strategies, small businesses can greatly increase their visibility at little or no extra cost.

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of social networking sites to help boost your small business, make 2011 the year you do.  You can start small if you like.  Just chat with someone online about your business, join Facebook or Twitter, and start getting the word out about your services.  It is the best, most affordable marketing tool available.  Put it to work for you.