Small businesses are unsure about the impact of social networking on reaching customers, according to a survey from RatePoint, a provider of customer reviews, testimonials and online reputation-management services. The survey reveals that the majority of respondents are not convinced their customers are spending time on social networking sites. Only 36 percent of respondents agree with the survey statement that their customers spend time on social networking sites, while 27 percent say they are undecided and 20 percent disagre that their customers are spending time on social networks.
Small businesses also are conflicted about the use of social media for business, according to the results of RatePoint's survey, based on a poll of more than 150 small businesses conducted in August 2010. Most of the companies surveyed have five or fewer employees.
Twenty-five percent of survey respondents agree that their customers want to hear from them on social networks, while 36 percent disagree and 20 percent are undecided. Asked if social media is a quick way to connect with prospective customers, 35 percent of businesses surveyed agree, 28 percent disagree, and 22 percent are undecided.
Another recent report from Panda Security found social networking sites can be dangerous for midmarket companies. A September survey of 315 SMBs with up to 1,000 employees revealed 33 percent of these companies had experienced a malware or virus infection from social networks, with 23 percent citing employee privacy violations resulting in the loss of sensitive data.
For more, read the eWeek article Businesses Wary of Facebook, Twitter Usage.