By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|November 17, 2011
The vast majority of small-business owners are discovering that social media doesn’t have to be painful. And as a result, those entrepreneurs who are choosing to take advantage of social channels say they’re reaping huge rewards besides being able to commune with customers, according to a new report.
The Fall 2011 Attitudes and Outlook Survey from email marketing firm Constant Contact, shows that small businesses are wising up to their customers’ desire for engagement. And they’re responding to that desire by actively “listening” to their clients — on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and company web sites.
Here are three benefits business owners cite from their use of social media:
Cost savings. In the half year that has lapsed since its last survey, found that the owners who said they’re allocating time to social media marketing climbed to an eye-popping 81 percent, up from 73 percent six months earlier. When asked why, 83 percent of owners said they could pinpoint cost savings at the top of their reasons to market online. That’s up from 72 percent in the spring 2011 study.
Ease of use. Another 67 percent of owners said the fact that social media marketing is easier to master and utilize brought them around. That’s up from 54 percent in the previous survey. And it didn’t hurt a bit that 51 percent of these surveyed merchants and business people discovered that their…
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