SMBs in Canada say social media is second-easiest-to-use marketing tactic
Consumers in Canada love small businesses, and they are willing to pay more to support their local retailers. According to a May survey from the Royal Bank of Canada/Ipsos Reid, 94% of respondents believed that small businesses played a critical role in the economy, and 61% said they would pay more for a product or service from a small business in their community. For these consumers, the value of local stores supersedes price point.
The best way to capitalize on consumers’ enthusiasm and draw them into the store, according to respondents: word-of-mouth at 73%.
In the digital era, social media is the ultimate word-of-mouth blow horn, and among the best strategies local businesses can use to reach consumers. So it’s surprising then that in April 2011 Pitney Bowes found that only 13% of SMBs in Canada were using social media very often, while 52% of SMBs were not using social media at all. This despite respondents also saying they considered social media the second-easiest-to-use and second-most cost-effective marketing tactic.
Although the number of SMBs regularly using social media is surely higher now, still in March 2012, BIA/Kelsey found that SMBs in Canada trailed the worldwide average for the percentage of companies with a link to a Facebook or Twitter page on their homepage. These buttons provide a retailer’s fans with a quick and easy way to show their support and get that message out to friends and family.
With the second-highest social network penetration worldwide, according to eMarketer, a local business in Canada is highly likely to find its customers on social sites. For these businesses, short on staff and working with tight margins, disseminating messages to the greatest number of people with the lowest output of money and resources can be a huge boon.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Who Is Most Concerned About Mobile Privacy?” and “Twitter Increases Share of Social Ad Revenues.”