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Social Networks Haven’t Displaced Traditional Promotional Methods

Credit Union Times, July 22, 2009

Nearly half of small businesses still rely on traditional methods to promote their companies even though many of them are establishing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace, according to a survey.

A Discover Financial Services’ Discover Small Business Watch index found that 38% of small businesses are members of a social online networking community, up from 22% in October 2007. Of those who use the Internet to network, more said they do so for purposes other than getting new business leads.

Nearly half of small businesses surveyed said they still rely on traditional ways to woo potential clients. Forty-six percent use conferences, trade shows, local in-person groups or chambers of commerce to drum up business. Of the remaining respondents, 16% cited “other” networking opportunities, 8% cited online sites, 7% said e-mail, and 22% said they weren’t sure. Sixty-two percent said they still do not have Web sites for their businesses, down from 65% in November 2007.

The Discover index is compiled each month by research firm Rasmussen Reports LLC. Approximately 750 small business owners are surveyed.

By Claude R. Marx