Small Businesses and Consumers Not on the Same (Web)Page

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One in three small businesses don't have a presence on social media.


New research commissioned by Enplug shows that U.S. small businesses and consumers are not on the same page when it comes to social media.

About one in three (34%) small businesses eschew a presence on social media—this despite the fact that more than half (57%) of consumers say they'd be somewhat or very influenced to think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments or praise online.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, ultimately found that small businesses vastly underestimate how much consumers value and trust social media. Roughly one in three (36%) small businesses with social media pages never respond to customer comments, even though one in seven customers only share positive reviews on social media.

“In a world where communication is increasingly conducted on social networks, it's clear small businesses have a prime opportunity to reach their customers more effectively, and more immediately, than ever before,” said Nanxi Liu, CEO of Enplug. “In fact, it's now a consumer expectation that not only can they learn about a business on social media, but they can talk with the business—whether it's to troubleshoot a problem or simply give praise.”

Other findings include:

  • Thirteen percent of consumers are more likely to share a positive review if the business highlights or promotes it in real time while on-site or social media.
  • Eighty percent of Snapchat users would be somewhat or very influenced to think more positively about a business that boasted positive comments or recommendations on social media and review sites like Yelp.
  • Additional social media users who would be influenced by positive online comments are broken down by social network here:
  1. Facebook users: 63%
  2. Twitter: 66%
  3. LinkedIn: 65%
  4. Pinterest: 70%
  5. Instagram 76

“We advocate for the use of social media by small businesses because it's proven to improve relationships between small businesses and their customers,” said Liu. “Enplug has seen firsthand how the use of social media, whether on a digital display in an establishment or on a mobile device, can influence what customers think about a small business.”

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