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Why Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Must Use Social Media

A couple of days back I received some Marketing Charts from HubSpot. Here are some stats I found very useful for small businesses and entrepreneurs to know. Keep in mind that most of these numbers are from U.S. web users but with the internet aren’t you selling/offering services to the world? :) (and India is headed here in the future so better start early!)

  • Social media site users spend an average of 5.4 hours a month engaged in networking sites.
  • 53.5 billion minutes per month spent on Facebook
  • The average Facebook user spent seven hours, 46 minutes on the site monthly
  • 734.2 million unique visitors to Facebook.com globally in June 2011, an increase of 33% from the previous year. Twitter.com comes second reaching 144.4 million visitors (up 56%). LinkedIn.com is fourth with more than 84 million visitors
  • Facebook, has an average monthly audience of more than 140 million vs its nearest competitor Blogger with 50 million. That means Facebook reaches 70% of active internet users.
  • From 9% of US market share of visits, Facebook has now reached about 65%. YouTube has gone from 9% to 20% and is steadily climbing. Twitter and LinkedIn seem to be staying constant at 2 to 3%.
  • Globally Europe leads in the average hours spent on social networking sites by 38.1%. N. America has 21.4% and Asia-Pacific has 16.5%.
  • According to the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index Facebook scores the lowest satisfaction score. Google on the other-hand was one of the highest scoring companies.
  • In just one week, Google+ went from ranking as 54th most visited site to 8th place.
  • Women make up majority of visitors to social networks, and people aged between 18-34 have the highest concentration of visitors among age groups.
  • Mobile users accessing social networks on the phone in the older generation (+55) have doubled since last year.
  • 41% of both video and search ad viewers have taken some type of action from an, while only 28% of social media ad viewers were inspired to act.
  • 63% of Facebook users what something in return when ‘Like’ing a page.
  • 80% of social network users prefer to connect to brands via Facebook.
  • 6 in 10 online shoppers say user-generated customer product reviews have a good impact on their buying behavior
  • An average of 29%, that’s 3 of 10 consumers seek buying advice.

That’s a lot of numbers but it’s clear that for now Facebook cannot be ignored. Customers are talking and connecting on Facebook and companies need to be there engaging with them or they will be missing out! YouTube and videos are a great way to engage with your audience and its steadily growing in usage. Not to be left out is Google+. I’d like to see how it fares a year from now; instinct says it’s just gonna keep climbing the usage charts – so get your Google+ Corporate Page Now!

You can download the entire report at Hubspot.

November 23, 2011   No Comments

Review: Sendible – A Multi-Platform Social Media Scheduler

I am constantly on the lookout for good social media sites and here is my latest find.

Sendible helps you to connect with your friends, family, customers and co-workers by sending all types of messages from one place – now or in the future. I took a quick look around and liked what I saw though it still can do better.

The sign-up was pretty easy and clean. Had to wait a while though for the confirmatory email. The welcome page has a listing of all the sites you can schedule on, and there are quite a few. You can post on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter among others. You can also schedule Blogs, Email and even Flickr.
sendible12 Before being able to use any of the services, you will have to enter details of the networks you want to use. You can connect not only to your Facebook profile but also your Facebook pages. That’s a nice touch!

You can import your contacts from most emails services. Sendible supports Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo or you can use a .csv file. The process is simple and easy and you also have the option of selecting which contacts to import. The Address book is well spaced out and easy to navigate.

The email setup is easy to use and even lets you blind copy everyone if you are mass mailing. The Multi Message allows you to send/schedule on multiple platforms and when scheduling you can also make messages recurring to act as reminders, however the scheduler right now only lets you go upto 30 hours. Hope they soon include days, weeks and months.

The sms scheduler allows only 160 characters and lets you get all replies to your sms as an email. A great marketing tool! However you have to buy credits to use the sms feature, hence not free :(

Sendible seems to be the only tool I have come across recently that allows multi-social network scheduling/posting for free. (I use SocialOomph quite a bit and I hate the fact that Facebook scheduling is not free). When scheduling status updates you can include URL’s and images too!

Sendible also lets you setup reminders for yourself by email or sms. Though am not so kicked by this as I can do this on my phone or outlook as reminders anyway.

On repeat login you will get to your homepage which is quite nifty. At a glance you can see scheduled messages, tasks and birthdays. You can also send out quick emails and status messages.

Something to note is that all messages will have ads in them unless you have a Sendible Pro account. The paid service also offers an newsletter sign-up widget for your blog. The widget adds the customer data to your Sendible list and so you can schedule and send out your newsletter right from here. You can even customize your newsletter and send them to select groups.

On the whole a great social media scheduler! It caters to almost everyone’s needs.

Photo Credit – Sendible

January 21, 2010   1 Comment