About a quarter of small businesses use some form of social media marketing, but many say their efforts haven't lived up to their expectations in terms of attracting new customers according to a poll from Network Solutions and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. As detailed in this eMarketer story, 42% of those that use social media say they have received sales leads from Facebook. Twitter brings up the rear, with only 16% of small-business social-media users saying they've received sales leads through using it.
I’m not surprised that a lot of businesses are not seeing sales from their social media efforts. Social Media is 'social' media, not 'sales' media. Social media can be great for raising the profile of a company or service, it is not an advertising medium. It is a conversation. It is good for informing people about the personality of your company and interacting with your customers. You also need to be the type of business that people want to interact with on a regular basis. If you’re a clothes hound, you might want to follow and learn more about Bluefly. However, I’m not sure how many people really want to be friends or a fan of funeral home or crematorium.