More than half of respondents to this week's RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say social media use is important in their business.
Of these, a quarter regard social media as very important and 29 percent as somewhat important. This compares with 24 percent who say social media use is not very important to their business and 22 percent who say it's not important at all.
The social networking website LinkedIn, 10 years old this month, now has more than 200 million users. The plurality of respondents-37 percent-picked LinkedIn as most useful to their businesses.
Other social media have grown even more rapidly: 9-year-old Facebook has more than 1 billion users, and Twitter has reached 200 million users less than seven years after its founding.
A quarter of readers cited Facebook as the social media site most valuable to their businesses; Twitter followed with 8 percent and Google+ with 5 percent.
One-fifth of respondents said their businesses do not rely on social media.
Many individuals use social media for career- and job-related networking. In addition, as use of social media has mushroomed, many companies have turned to the sites for a range of business purposes such as marketing, public relations, customer service and hiring.
More than half of respondents said their businesses use social media for marketing, public relations and sales.
A quarter said social media were useful for customer feedback and service, and 21 percent use these sites to track industry competitors.
A fifth of readers use social media to get ideas for new products or services and for recruiting and background checks on employment applicants.
Nearly 325 readers participated in this week's poll, which was conducted May 13 and 14.
How important is social media use to your business today?
Very important: 25%
Somewhat important: 29%
Not very important: 24%
Not at all important: 22%
Which social media site is most useful to your business?
For what purposes does your business use social media?
Marketing/PR and sales: 56%
Customer feedback and service: 25%
Tracking industry competitors: 21%
Gathering ideas for new products or services: 20%
Hiring (recruiting, background checking): 20%
Regardless of what measurable benefit in terms of sales and profits, in this day and age, if you’re not actively in the social media game, then you are viewing from the sidelines and risk your competition taking the upper hand.
I would like to announce the launching of a social media site for older Web users. It will be called "FaceLift." All pictures will be on film, rules of English grammar will be enforced, and if you send a message in all caps, it only means you left the caps lock on.
Facebook, along with the Internet and email, allows us to stay in contact with all our guests by advertising, reserving rooms and posting activities at our bed and breakfast, the Genesee Country Inn.
—Richard and Deborah Stankevich, Genesee Country Inn, Mumford
Social media are simply additional tools that can be used for a variety of purposes. Like any other medium, results may vary depending on usage.
—Peter J. Gregory, Rochester
If you have an audience or group of customers or clients that you regularly interact with, you need to be touching base with them with some regularity. Social media is an excellent way, but don't forget about face-to-face time.
—Rich Calabrese Jr., Rochester
The ability to spread information has exploded through social networking sites. The immediate ear of media is a plus to non-profits whose marketing budgets may be limited.
—Cheri Trimble Miller, Hochstein School of Music & Dance
5/17/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.