Social Web sites can help small businesses
Here are the top four social media tools—all free—used by the mostly small business owners surveyed, in order of popularity:
1. Twitter, where users post short messages of 140 characters or less about sales and specials at their businesses, funny or informative online tidbits, or just day-to-day experiences in their personal and professional lives.
2. Blogs, hosted for free online or on people’s own servers, that act as online journals. Places to start one free include Blogger, Livejournal, or WordPress. You can click here to watch a video tutorial about how to start a blog at Blogger.
3. LinkedIn, a massive professional networking Web site where users connect with former and current employers, employees, clients, and colleagues.
4. Facebook, a personal networking Web site where users post pictures, join groups, and exchange messages with friends, family, and even clients.
What are the business benefits of connecting to new and current clients with social media sites? Respondents cited:
> Eighty-one percent said their social media efforts have generated exposure.
If you haven’t started using free social media, don’t worry. In the study, 72 percent said they just started or have been using social media for only a few months.
The study was conducted by Michael Stelzner for the upcoming Social Media Success Summit 2009.