New Survey Shows Small Businesses Only Focusing on Half the Digital Equation
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Press release from the issuing company
Deluxe highlights need for SMBs to be better prepared to capture online and social media excitement
ST. PAUL, Minn. - For small businesses (SMBs), “word of mouth” promotion has been a time-tested way to reach new customers and generate awareness. But with the growing array of digital and social media options, SMBs can now look beyond one-on-one in-person engagement to capture this critical advocacy from online audiences. However, a new, independent survey has found that SMB owners are spending only a minimum amount of time building and managing their online presence, potentially leaving them unable to cash-in on the online buzz generated by their products and services.
Commissioned by Deluxe Corp., a leading provider of marketing services and business products for small businesses and financial institutions, the study surveyed more than 500 small business owners (SBOs) around the U.S., in tandem with Small Business Week (May 12 – 16). The results showed that 66 percent of the respondents had a dedicated business website and 45 percent had a Facebook page. Still, while 73 percent of those surveyed thought “word of mouth” was an important way to engage customers, 70 percent spent less than one hour per week maintaining their online presence and 51 percent posted to social media only once a month or less.
“Our close relationship with the small business community has shown that most owners already do a great job being ‘buzz worthy’ by offering remarkable products and delivering excellent customer service,” said Tim Carroll, vice president of small business engagement at Deluxe. “What they are not always doing is preparing for when buzz about them actually happens. Most customers, after hearing about a business through word of mouth, will search for it online, visit its website, look at its social media pages and read reviews about it. Those small businesses with a strong and well maintained online presence can capture this behavior and convert it into lasting relationships.”
Additional highlights from the study include:
According to Carroll, there are different ways small business owners can give their online presence a boost in order to increase visibility, generate interest and capture any buzz.
“It can take just one day – one influential person to notice – to make a small business a hit, so make sure your online presence is ready to go,” said Carroll. “Still, we understand that small business owners didn’t go into business to focus on digital marketing. That’s why Deluxe works so closely with small business owners to help them perfect their digital footprint – so they can focus on the parts of their business that they really love to do.”
The SMB “online engagement” survey is part of Deluxe’s commitment to supporting America’s small businesses. The company’s goal is to place its product and service expertise at SMB owners’ command, allowing them to pursue their passions.
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