The Evolution of Social Media as a Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs

By Geho, Patrick R.; Dangelo, Jennifer | Entrepreneurial Executive, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Evolution of Social Media as a Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs


Geho, Patrick R., Dangelo, Jennifer, Entrepreneurial Executive


ABSTRACT

Traditional marketing methods can no longer sustain a business. Businesses have been aware for the past few years that social connectivity was becoming the key to marketing. However, the time, effort, usefulness and ability to measure outcomes made using social media for marketing impracticable.

With the advent of analytics and other sophisticated measurement tools, entrepreneurs are finding that they can now not only take advantage of social media as a marketing tool but use data to optimize their social media marketing campaigns. This study was conducted to examine trends in social media marketing and the resources available to entrepreneurs to jump start their marketing strategy by incorporating social media.

INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurs face many daunting tasks in the operation of their businesses, not the least of which is maximizing the marketing potential of social media while at the same time being able to measure cost benefits. According to the 2011 Q3 Nielsen State of the Media: The Social Media Report (NMincite, 201 1), "60 percent of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site" (para. 1). This statistic, and a host of others, serves to prove that tried and true social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Linkedln, and newcomers Google+ and Tumblr are here to stay. Furthermore, they are influencing the way consumers buy products and services. To encourage business owners, large and small alike, to use social media as a marketing platform, several social media companies have developed business-specific tools or made it possible to brand an online profile to a business.

The number one deterrent of social media for small business has always been the time commitment required to keep profiles active and the almost impossible task of calculating the return on investment (ROI). Advances in the social media scene like Hootsuite, a social media dashboard and scheduler, allows scheduling and posting content to all online profiles simultaneously. Facebook Pages Insights, which allows tracking the number of visitors to a Facebook Business Page, helps close the gap between big brand experts (i.e., Coke and Apple) and average mom and pop businesses at leveraging social media.

INTERNET GROWTH AND CURRENT SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE

In 1995 statistics indicated 0.4% of the world population used the Internet. The latest figures show that number has grown to 32.7% or some 2.2 billion users (Internet World Stats, 2012). With this incredibly fast evolution of the Internet and social media, it is evident from everyday media that big businesses are making use of every social media outlet available today; but are small businesses doing the same? An industry study in 2011 published in the Social Media Examiner surveyed 3,342 marketers, and just under half of those were self-employed or small business owners (Stelzner, 201 1). The results ofthat survey are summarized below:

* Overall, 90% of the marketers surveyed agreed with the statement "Is social media important to your business?" and 66% of small business owners strongly agreed with the statement.

* 80% of marketers indicated social media use generated more exposure for their business.

* An increase in search engine rankings was seen by almost two-thirds of marketers.

* Spending as little as six hours weekly generated leads for 52%» of marketers, with small business owners more likely to strongly agree to the lead generation question.

* 59%) of small business owners saw a reduction in marketing costs when social media were implemented.

* Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, and blogs dominated usage stats, with 92%, 84%, 71%, and 68%) respectively, with 78%> of small business owners indicating they were more likely to use Linkedln.

APPROACHES USED TO DEFINE AND MEASURE SOCIAL MEDIA ROI

While some social media strategies, such as offering Facebook- or Twitter-specific deals and coupons, can be directly traced to a traditional form of ROI like generating a sale, it is important to note that other facets of social media interaction also constitute ROI and can be important indicators of the health of a social media campaign. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Evolution of Social Media as a Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.