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Small Business' Big Use of Social Media
Just because you own a small business doesn't mean you can't rely on the big boys of social media to help drive traffic to your site.
According to a recent study conducted by Northwestern Professor Rich Gordon and Syndio Social CEO Zachary Johnson, more than half of all traffic to small business sites is referred from Facebook and Twitter--nearly three times the percentage those giants of social media drive to larger websites.
The study showed Facebook alone refers more than 48 percent of small business web traffic, while Twitter drives almost 4 percent. For larger sites, dependency of social media is much less. The study, compiled among Chicago-based sites, said more heavily viewed websites draw just 19 percent of their views from Facebook and Twitter.
The study paints a clear picture of the importance of social media for small business marketing.
"Especially for small sites, it is now as important to have a Facebook page as a homepage," the study reads, adding small business owners should "devote time and attention to winning 'likes' of their Facebook page, and update the page frequently."
Another interesting aspect of the study concerns links on small business sites. It shows the most effective small business sites link to other sites.
"There is a statistical relationship between the number of links a site provides and the amount of traffic it drives--and that the relationship is especially strong for the smallest sites," the study says.
The study also found while sites like Tumblr and Pinterest have gained popularity, their effects on referring traffic is negligible at this point.