Are you still feeling tentative about using social media to market your business? A new study by Mass Relevance, reported in ClickZ, shows that more than half (59 percent) of customers prefer to do business with companies that integrate social media into their websites. And in the same study, nearly two-thirds of respondents have made purchases based on content they found on social media.
Here’s some more of what the study found:
What’s the takeaway from this survey? Personally, I see a turning point. Today, if your company doesn’t have a website, prospective customers are likely to feel somewhat suspicious. “Is this a REAL business?” they’ll wonder. “Why can’t I find them online?”
In the same way, participation in social media is becoming a marker of a business’s credibility. Just like having a website, it’s rapidly becoming essential—especially among the younger crowd. The 18-to-34-year-olds in the survey are far more likely to value social media involvement, with 67 percent saying they prefer to do business with companies that use social media, compared to 46 percent overall. As this age group is rapidly growing in importance as consumers both today and in the future, you need to think about how they’ll choose companies to do business with going forward.
If you’re already using social media, think about ways you can incorporate it even further into your business’s digital presence. Are you linking to your social sites from your website, your email communications, your newsletters? Are you mentioning them with icons in your print marketing materials and signage?
If you’re not already using social media, please don’t wait another minute. The mentors at SCORE can help you get started and find the social media tools that work best for you. Don’t have a mentor? Visit the SCORE website to find one and get advice 24/7 to grow your business.