Word of Mouth Recommendations Stronger

I read today in an  article by Emily Maltby (WSJ) that entrepreneurs are more interested in word of mouth referrals than the social proof offered by Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Small-business insurer Hiscox Insurance Company Inc. hired Opinium Research LLP to conduct online interviews in May of 2011. They polled 304 U.S. business owners & managers of companies with less than 250 employees. The results were surprising to me:

  • 4% use social media as a marketing tool
  • 50% want word-of-mouth recommendations (this wasn’t surprising)
  • 28% have a company Facebook page
  • 18% have a company LinkedIn page or group
  • 8% have a company blog
  • 6% have a YouTube or video-streaming channel
  • 2% have a company Twitter feed

the companies who  are using social media are using it to increase brand awareness and generate sales

Ms. Maltby noted

The Hiscox study supports other research showing that the majority of owners haven’t found social media to be a vital part of their businesses.”

Other related small business posts: Is Google Place Page beneficial for local business promotion? and How to Set Your Facebook Landing Tab