THUNDER BAY – The news never sleeps, just as the world never sleeps. At noon in Thunder Bay, it is midnight on the other side of the world. There is always something newsworthy going on. There is always a stock market open, there is always a business opportunity.
Like it, or not, we live in a 24/7 – 365 day news cycle.
Every morning people seek out what is “new” and what is happening in our world.
There are lots of choices out there for you to get your news and information. They range from television, radio, newspapers and of course the Internet. Increasingly, people are seeking information at their fingertips. The growing popularity of the Iphone and Ipad along with the growth of wifi hotspots are evidence of the demand for more and more information. Today, people don’t take, in growing numbers of cases, the traditional two-week holiday.
With their smart phones, they are connected to work all the time. If that is a good thing, or a bad thing doesn’t matter, it is what is happening. Complaining about it is like complaining about the weather, while everyone does it, no one does anything about it.
The demand for information is one that is fueling the growth of the Internet, and of ever increasing bandwidth. Video, audio, and streaming movies have all served to change the way people access information and entertainment.
It also opens up new opportunities for business.
First off, even the smallest ‘mom and pop’ business can market to the world. Online the possibilities are endless.
Increasingly the way many successful companies are accessing the Internet is changing. Ever notice on television commercials that companies are sharing their Facebook presence? Social media has become huge in terms of how to engage with customers.
Internet Giant Google sees this and has launched Google+. The company’s move into social networking, is growing. It has a ways to go to catch up to Facebook, which can boast
Hiscox surveyed US small business leaders on their social media usage and found that many weren’t using these important channels to promote their businesses and products. Only 12% of businesses described social media promotion as a must and nearly 50% of respondents aren’t using social media at all.
The findings included:
– 47% of respondents indicated they did not use social
media for business purposes at all
For those that did use social media for their business:
– 19% are using Facebook
– 15% are using LinkedIn
– 4% are using Twitter
The businesses using social media also ranked the most important channels they used to grow and expand their business:
– 28% selected a company Facebook page
–18% selected a company page / group on LinkedIn
– 8% indicated a company blog had helped them the most
When all respondents were asked about how they felt about using social media for their
– 12% describe it as a must, they do it all the time
– 24% do it when they have the time
– 14% indicated they don’t know enough about it.
There is a direct relationship today between how your business uses the Internet, and the success your business will have.
It is not as simple as just having a page on
Facebook, or having a Twitter account. Knowing how social media can help your business will make your path into this medium successful.
In Canada, even though some people would likely try to claim we are independent of what happens in the United States, the fact is we likely follow the Americans in some aspects of the Internet by between three months to a year.
If your business is not engaging your customers, you could be losing opportunities.
Only 1% of surveyed small business owners say they publish a blog for business.
Facebook Most Important for Growth
Facebook is also the top channel for business growth: Small business owners who use social media cite the following channels as most effective in helping them grow their business:
- Facebook page: 28%
- LinkedIn company page or group: 18%
- Company blog: 8%
- YouTube: 6%
Social Marketing a Low Priority
Even so, social media is a low priority for most small businesses: Asked to describe how their companies use social media, small business owners report the following:
- Social media isn’t important to our business: 43%
- We use social media when we have time: 24%
- We don’t know enough about social media: 14%
- Social media is a must; we use it all the time: 12%
Perhaps one of the reasons business should engage through social media with their customers is that in growing numbers of instances, that is where they are.
In Thunder Bay there are over 70,000 people who have a Facebook profile. You don’t have to be a rocket sturgeon as Don Cherry would say to figure out that ignoring the possibilities that having that many people in one place could have for your business.
The key is learning how to use all the technology.
How do you feel about social media marketing for business?