Citibank commissioned a study, reported by Reuters, that concludes that most small businesses are not yet using social media. "Few U.S. small businesses have adopted social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter for business uses, according to research released Thursday" according to the beginning of the Reuters article.
The article continues: "Three-quarters of small businesses say they have not found sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn helpful for generating business leads or expanding business in the past year, according to a survey conducted for Citibank Small Business of 500 U.S. businesses with fewer than 100 employees....Also, 86 percent said they have not used social networking sites for information or business advice. Ten percent said they have sought business advice and information on expert blogs."
This is not an indictment of social media. This is a lack of understanding of the value of social media for businesses of any size. part of the blame lies with the social media, and a part of the blame lies with the businesses themselves. Education has to be a component, largely self education. Businesses need to try the various social media to see what it can do for them, and the platforms themselves have to create outreach and education programs to attract more businesses.
In order to attract more businesses to each social media platform, the value proposition has to be explained in terms that make sense to the businesses. For a platform like LinkedIn this should be easier than a platform like Facebook or Twitter.
Was I surprised at the findings of the Citibank study? No. Even in the B2G market the vast majority of contractors have a long way to go to maximize the value that social media platforms can bring to the table.
On December 7, there will be a seminar on how both government and the contracting community are using social media. Find out more at