Small Businesses Avoiding LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest: Are They Missing Out?

A recent survey by VerticalResponse, a marketing software company indicates that while 90 percent of small businesses are on Facebook and 70 percent on Twitter, they’re not as eager to embrace social media sites like LinkedIn (only 4 percent!), Google+ (3 percent) or Pinterest (1 percent). Wow! (An infographic provides more detail.)

Personally, I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn, find Pinterest to be a very interesting concept (and have an article coming out soon in EContent about some unique ways content providers are using Pinterest), and don’t really “get” Google+, but my personal opinions really don’t matter here and, IMO, neither do these survey results.

Should small businesses be using LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest? Should they be using Facebook or Twitter? The answer is proverbial: “It depends.”

It depends, first of all, on who these small businesses are, what they sell and to whom they sell it. If they’re selling to businesses, then they should be on LinkedIn. If they’re selling to consumers, and their product is a high-involvement product, Facebook probably makes sense. But so might Pinterest. And, quite honestly, there are still businesses out there that really don’t need to use social media at all (blasphemy, I know, but it’s true).

Frankly, I have to harken back to my blog from earlier this week, and say that I’m very skeptical of this report. Who was surveyed? What do they sell? Who are their customers? How many were surveyed? What sampling methodology was used? How were they identified/contacted? I think the report raises more questions than it provides answers.

My advice is the same as always: when you’re thinking about using any kind of communication medium — traditional or social media — your decision must be made based on who you’re attempting to influence and what tool is most likely to reach and impact them at a point in time (at several points in time) when they will be most amenable to your message. It’s that simple. Not!

So what do you think small businesses? How is social media working for you? What tools do you use and why?

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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