Social media allows small-business owners to achieve a higher ROI

Many small-business owners are cash-strapped in today's economy and focusing on cash management is becoming a more importance process. However, one marketing strategy that is allowing firms with fewer than 100 employees to see a strong return on investment is social media, according to the most recent Manta SMB Wellness Index.

The research revealed about half of SMBs have spent more time on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages compared to a year ago, while more than one in three small-business owners spend between one and three hours each week managing their social platforms. The increased use of online networking sites is leading to better customer service, reported Forbes, and business owners are beginning to see that such sites allow them to do more than marketing and advertising.

"As a highly pragmatic and time-constrained group, small-business owners are strategically adopting platforms that show real results for their business," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "However, social media is not a stationary phenomenon. As SMBs shift from the experimental stage to a results-focused phase, their social media usage will evolve to maximize the value."

Small-business owners who are trying to build an improved presence on social media sites need to respond quickly to as many customers as they can. Not only will swiftly interacting with customers lead to better relationships, it will also help the company establish a reputation of going above and beyond to cater to client needs, said Forbes.

The news source referenced statistics compiled by software provider Oracle, which showed more than half of Twitter users expect a response within two hours of sending a tweet about a customer service issue, while 51 percent of Facebook users want a response within one day of their post.

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