Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Small Biz Chooses Search over SocNets

Small Biz Chooses Search over SocNets

More than three-fourths (76%) of small-business owners have not found social networking sites to be helpful in generating business leads or for expanding their business during the last year, and 86% say they have not used social networking sites to get business advice or information, according to a new Citibank/GfK Roper survey. The survey of 500 small business executives across the US, found that despite widespread consumer use and increasing marketing efforts on social-media sites - such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn - among larger organizations, managers in smaller businesses apparently are not jumping on the bandwagon.

Google Trumps WSJ.com
The survey found that general search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo trump social networks, small-business-focused sites and general business destinations such as WSJ.com as places where business owners to seek business advice or information. Some 61% of respondents say they rely on search-engine sites.

Additional survey findings:
  • 42% of small business owners and managers reported that in the past year they have made greater use of their company’s website to generate business leads and sales.
  • Among companies with 20-99 employees, this percentage rises to 57% reporting they have made greater use of their website.
  • Survey respondents are using email marketing (28%) and online advertising (25%) to generate business leads and sales.

A report from Borrell Associates found that small businesses are poised to triple the amount of money they spend on their websites.

“Our survey suggests that small business owners are still feeling their way into social media, particularly when it comes to using these tools to grow their businesses,” said Maria Veltre, EVP of Citi’s Small Business Segment. “While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them.”

Things may be poised to change in the future, however. Despite SMB’s continued reliance on and preference for traditional media, a study by Bredin Business Information found that major marketers to SMBs are cutting back on traditional tactics and switching to lower-cost, online marketing to save money. About the survey: The omnibus poll was conducted for Citibank Small Business via telephone by GFK Roper from August 20-27, 2009 among a sample of 500 small business executives across the US.

Source: marketingcharts.com

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tweeting More Ubiquitous Than Other Electronic Socializing

According to a survey conducted by Crowd Science, with Twitter being accessed from mobile devices to a greater extent than other social media, Twitter users also use social media more in such locations as cars, restaurants and restrooms. 11% of Twitter users admitted to accessing social media while driving during the preceding 30 days, compared with just 5% of other social media users. And 29% of Twitter users said they had accessed social media from cars at some point in the past, compared with 13% of non-users.

John Martin, CEO of Crowd Science, notes that "Twitter is more of a mobile media phenomenon than other social networks, so these results, while a little disturbing, are... not so surprising... the bottom line is that either type of activity takes a driver's attention away from the road."

The survey found that only 27% of Twitter users tweet daily, while 46% check updates daily. In addition, 24% of Twitters users have never tweeted, or have ceased doing so.

According to the survey, 40% of Twitter users access the service via mobile at least sometimes, compared with 32% for Facebook users, and 8% use mobile all the time vs. 3% for Facebook.

In addition to the greater usage while driving, the survey also found that over the past 30 days,

  • Twice as many Twitter users as non-Twitter social media users (8% to 4%) had accessed any social media from a theater during a movie or live performance.
  • 17% of Twitter users vs. 12% of non-Twitter social media users had accessed social media from a washroom or toilet
  • Nearly three times as many Twitter users as other social media users have accessed social media from restaurants (31% vs. 12%).

Considering the attitudes of Twitter users, says the report, a significant number of social media users use the applications because friends and contacts do (17%), or because stopping or reducing its use would be damaging to their social status (15%.).

32% of Twitter users feel they spend too much time using social media, 22% say they've written things on social media that they've later regretted, and 16% report that they often neglect important activities to spend time on social media. Yet 25% of Twitter users say social media is their favorite leisure activity, compared with 14% of non-Twitter social media users.

Additional survey results include:

  • 41% of Twitter users prefer to contact friends via social media rather than telephone, compared with 25% of non-Twitter social media users,
  • 11%, vs. only 6% of those not using Twitter, actually prefer social media over face-to-face contacts
  • 14% of Twitter users said they have revealed things about themselves in social media that they wouldn't under any other circumstances
  • 8% admitted to "frequently stretching" the truth about themselves online

Twitter users tend to be older than non-Twitter social media users (54% over 30 years old, vs. 42%),

  • They are twice as likely to be self-employed or entrepreneurs (18% vs. 9%)
  • 24% vs. 15% "buy gadgets/devices when they first come out,"
  • 48% vs. 30% have created a website
  • 37% currently maintain a blog, twice as many as non-Twitter social media users

The Crowd Science study was conducted across more than 600,000 visitors to multiple websites between August 5-13, 2009, targeting social media users age 12 and up.

For more information from Crowd Science, please visit here.

Source: Center for Media Research Oct. 7, 2009 Research Brief.