A recent Nielsen survey showed that globally people spent an average of more than five and a half hours per month on social networking sites in December 2010, an 82% increase year-over-year.
For business owners, Social Media is important for several reasons. One, social media enables companies to connect with their target market, either locally or abroad. With over 500 million Facebook users and 100 million Twitter users, the potential to find and engage customers is like no other traditional marketing channel.
Two, social media is a great way to learn about your market, either directly from your customers, your competition or adjacent market businesses that serve your customer base. The ability to search and engage your market in conversation is a powerful means of market research.
Third, social media is a powerful channel in which to share information and market your business online. Have a new product to launch or a promotion to share with your customers and prospects? Social media is a great way to effectively communicate your marketing programs to a large, targeted audience.
Finally, search engines continue to incorporate social media data into their search and rankings algorithms. It is expected that social media will play an increasingly important role in how Google and other search engines determine a website’s relevance. Actively engaging in social media is considered good practice to leverage these changes and gain better visibility on search engines.
What do you think? What else makes social media beneficial to business owners?