Why is social networking important for a small business? As a business owner, how will you use social networking to promote and build your business? –MGT 401

Social networking is the connections made between a business and other groups such as community or other small businesses.  As an owner, it is an important PR function because it provides a face to the company and shows that there is a human element for the company. I think social networking can be achieved in a number of ways, most importantly, small businesses should be apart of groups such as the Chamber of Commerce or any trade associations for their particular industry. Today, social media can provide some of the social networking needed such as making connections with other related professionals through networks such as Linkdin and other sites.

Participation

I am not sure I believe that social media has a significant impact on selling and marketing. I think people like to believe it does but there is so little data to support this conclusion. There is a lot of data that suggests that it is not that effective:

 

  • In 2012, Gallup survey reported that 62% of people using social media were not influenced in making purchasing decisions. 30% stated some influence and 5% stated they were influenced a great deal.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Neilson Holdings NV “found that global consumers trusted ads on television, print, radio, billboards and movie trailers more than social-media ads.”
  • GM pulled $10 million from Facebook advertising:

Just days before Facebook’s historic stock offering, General Motors said it plans to stop advertising on the social media site, concluding that its paid ads don’t have a big impact on consumers (Muller, 2012).

The fact is that social media does not have a long history of research and marketing success. It is difficult to find social media research that is not biased in some manner. The reality of social media is that many aspects of it are overstated.

References

Muller, J. (2012, May 5). GM Says Facebook Ads Don’t Work, Pulls $10 Million Account. Retrieved from Forbes: