Small businesses seem to agree that social media marketing is effective.
- "Creating a profile on a social network" was named the most effective marketing or advertising tactic. (MerchantCircle survey, 2011)
- 34% of respondents who had used social media said it helped them reach new potential customers and 15% said it increased sales. (Deluxe Corp survey, 2011)
However, they are yet to explore the full potential of social media.
This should soon change: 83% small businesses plan to use social media for business. Yet social media is far from being indispensable: only 4% small businesses can't do without it.
Facebook design created by Affinity Express
Our own survey revealed that SMBs are struggling with online marketing due to a lack of access to affordable, expert resources that would help them harness online tactics more effectively.
Top that with the bewildering array of social media sites available and tactics advocated by pundits and it's no wonder the time-strapped small business owner is confused. Do you start by building a page on Facebook? Asking for reviews on Yelp? Adding Like buttons on your website? Polls and quizzes? Social-oriented contests? Ads?
SMBs need help to pierce through the confusion, and Affinity Express is trying to provide some of that help. Through our partners in the news publishing industry, we offer SMBs affordable services that will help them easily set up a social media presence and increase visibility and marketing ROI. We also help businesses track and respond to what people on the social web are saying about your company, competitors and industry. Our social media services fit in perfectly with other services we offer like website and email design, so you can even order a comprehensive package, multiplying visibility and reach by utilizing several channels at once.
It's early days yet, but we've got a lot of interest in our social media services, and we're hoping it will fill the gap in affordable, easy-to-use social media services for small businesses.