small businesses

Small businesses are not impressed by Twitter: survey

Much of the attention lavished on social networks as marketing platforms focuses in on large brands, many of which have invested heavily in these channels and can boast about large audiences.

One of the most popular social networks with brands has been Twitter, which is now generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in ad revenue and may go public in the next year.

This week’s top six infographics

Here are six of the best infographics we’ve seen this week.

This time the topics include multiscreen content consumption, who to follow in the SEO industry, big data, the marketer’s guide to actionable data and a look at how small businesses in Australia use social media.

Eight tips for small businesses starting out on Tumblr

Devising a social media strategy isn’t easy for small businesses, not least because there are so many different platforms to choose from.

Facebook and Twitter are the obvious choices because that’s where the eyeballs are, but they also require a lot of resource to make sure you are constantly engaging with fans and responding to comments.

So one other option for businesses to consider is Tumblr. The blogging platform currently hosts just over 77m blogs that attract 4.5bn impressions a week and it’s growing rapidly.

Tumblr is already being used by a number of major brands and recently announced its first analytics platform, which makes it a more attractive proposition for business users.

Facebook now most popular customer acquisition tool for SMEs

More than a third of UK businesses (36%) now use Facebook to attract new customers, according to data from Basekit.

This makes it more popular as an advertising tool than local business directories such as Yellow Pages and Thomson, which are used by 27% of the 500 small businesses surveyed.

The use of online advertising is now almost as common as print advertising (20% vs. 21%), and Twitter is also quickly gaining popularity (17%).

Will $50 in ad credits make small businesses like Facebook?

With more than 750m users, Facebook is the world’s largest social network. So it’s no surprise that marketers have flocked to the Facebook in an effort to reach consumers online.

But Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, knows that multinational brands and Madison Avenue ad agencies aren’t necessarily the most lucrative group of ‘marketers‘ her company can court.

Is group buying a good fit for Yelp?

If there’s a sexy space on the consumer internet right now, group buying is it. Although there are arguments about whether or not market leader Groupon’s first national deal with Gap was really as successful as it appears on the surface, one thing is for sure: companies large and small smell big money in group buying deals.

One of those companies is Yelp, and although it has plenty of competition, Yelp may be one of the few upstarts with the potential to put a dent, even if slight, in Groupon’s rise.

Google tries to lure local businesses to Tags with free trial

Google is the internet’s 800 pound gorilla when it comes to advertising, but that doesn’t mean that it has exploited all of the areas for growth potential. A significant one: small, local businesses.

While many small businesses use AdWords, or have given it a spin, even more aren’t using it. There are plenty of reasons why. Many small business owners find paid search challenging to set up and manage, and if not set up and managed properly, campaigns can be very costly and ineffective. One costly, ineffective campaign can potentially cost Google a customer for life.

Selling on eBay and Amazon: pros and cons for SMEs

EBay is the world‟s largest online marketplace, accounting for $60bn sales worldwide in 2008, while Amazon also offers small businesses an opportunity to use its platform to generate sales. Despite this scale, opinion in the business community is divided about selling on eBay. 

Some businesses use eBay as their only sales channel and become totally immersed in the eBay community, proudly nurturing their 100% feedback. Other businesses, however, feel that eBay sellers undercut their prices and devalue their brand. For example luxury brands like Tiffany and Louis Vuitton have been involved in legal proceedings against the marketplace. 

In this extract from Econsultancy’s recent report: Selling Online: a How-to Guide for Small Businesses, we look at the pros and cons of selling on eBay and Amazon for small businesses… 

Foursquare opens up for businesses with new features

This week, both Twitter and Facebook have come out with big location news. Twitter is adding geolocation features and Facebook will soon let users share their location. Both of those announcements could strike fear in the heart of a mobile check-in service like Foursquare. But Foursquare is banking its success in the mobile check-in space on attention to detail. And the company also has some new features — that could be very useful for small businesses. 

In the next few weeks, Foursquare is going to start sharing a free analytics tool that will help small businesses track — and communicate with — their customers.

Local SEM: churn baby, churn

Search engine marketing is big business. But when it comes to serving small, local businesses, SEM providers in all parts of the SEM food chain appear to have some big problems.

That’s according to a study conducted by Borrell Associates, which looked at SEM amongst local businesses.

Google empowers local businesses

The internet can be a powerful tool for local businesses but in many cases, it’s the mom-and-pop shop down the street that doesn’t have the resources or tech savvy to make the most of the web.

Google is trying to change that and yesterday announced the launch of a Local Business Center dashboard that gives local businesses a set of free tools to monitor and analyze their business listings on Google.