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Despite the hype, social media still a low priority for SMBs

It might feel as if all you ever hear about is the importance of using social media, but according to Reckon’s Gerald Chait, the number of businesses actually using social media doesn’t match the hype surrounding these digital worlds. Does this mean it’s not right for every business?

I’m not sure why I was surprised to discover only 1 in 5 small businesses are using social media. Maybe it’s because it can seem difficult or overwhelming when you’re not familiar with it, or the benefits aren’t obvious right away.

In the latest Reckon small business survey, released in December, 20 percent of business owner/managers indicated they are using social media now and a further 13 percent plan to start using social media as part of their business in the next 12 months.

The 1200 businesses owners and managers who took part in the survey were from a variety of industry sectors, and I think it’s fair to say that despite the hype, many businesses are saying social media is not for them.

Social media isn’t for every business. But before writing social media off I do think businesses need to change their mindset to evaluate the benefits properly. It’s not advertising, and I think many see little benefit for them because they can’t instantly see the sales benefit. But by connecting with customers directly, hearing what they have to say and positioning themselves as experts in their field, businesses can build better customer loyalty and trust in their product/service.

I am confident a lot of businesses who aren’t using social media could gain from getting involved, and with only 20 percent on board now, many could beat their competitors to it. I wonder if the numbers involved will grow significantly in the year ahead.

What do you think?

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Gerald Chait

Gerald Chait

Gerald Chait is Reckon Limited’s Group General Manager, Marketing. He has over 20 years marketing experience and has worked with a number of well known companies including Sharp, Optus and 3M developing marketing and business strategies. For almost 5 years Gerald has been instrumental in developing Reckon’s Business Division marketing and pricing strategies. Reckon is the distributer of QuickBooks, Quicken and APS software. Over the last decade, Reckon has quickly grown to become a leading name in accounting and business circles.

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