Last week I compared the evolution of websites to that of social media adoption. I proposed that two things were likely in the future for small businesses: 1) They may be more likely to have a social media strategy than have a website; 2) More and more would employ both a website and social media to cross-collateralize content and e-commerce capability.
This line of thinking got me wondering how you’re using these two customer-connecting tools right now. So in our poll question last week we made this request: “Please choose one of these four options for how you connect with customers online.” Frankly, the answers surprised me.
Almost one-in-five respondents said, “We have a website for our business.” Of course, this would be way too low for this answer, except that we also offered this choice, “We do both - website and social media.” Those who chose this one represented more than 70%.
A very small percentage of our sample said they used social media as the sole method of connecting with customers online. In time, I believe this will change. And thankfully, those who admitted that they didn’t connect with customers online at all were also a small number of our respondents.
The good news I’m taking away from our responses this week is that my #2 prediction in the first paragraph is coming to pass sooner than I thought. Small businesses increasingly understand that in order to be relevant in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, you have to be prepared to use all methods of connecting with customers, the traditional and the new.
Recently on my radio show, The Small Business Advocate, I talked more about the connections between social media and websites, now and in the future. Take a few minutes to listen and tell us how you use social media in your efforts to connect with customers.