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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Do You Get Business From Social Networking - UK Poll Results

Do You Get Business From Social Networking
I have been operating in the social marketing world for over 2 years now and during that time there has been a dichotomy of opinion about the merits of social networking as a means of obtaining business. There are the well know stories from the likes of Dell, Zappo's  etc, but I wanted to see how Mr Small Business UK was fairing. So I put up a poll to find out.

I have been running this poll, aimed at UK based social networking activists to try to get an idea of how successful companies or individuals are at getting businesses using social media. My poll was posted on my blog and I was regularly referring to it via twitter and facebook. Over 3 months I got nearly 200 responses a small number I admit, but large enough to draw some conclusions. Broadly its 50/50. 50% are getting some business and 50% aren't. In order to to separate purely social users or those with no interest in business returns I separated the No's into No and No but I'd Like Too. It was this latter category that held the big surprise, 43% of people who'd like to get business from social networking are not. This left me wondering what was the reason for this, was it the fact that people hadn't been using it long enough to get results or was social networking a less productive marking strategy than has been touted.

To try to make sense of the results and to get a bigger sample I've put up a similar poll but made it more generic. That is relevant to social networking participants outside the UK. Hopeful I can have some more interesting results to report soon.

Exigent Consulting specialises in providing Business Turnaround, Sales, Marketing and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business. We help Business Owners improve the profit performance of their business.


  1. Filled in the survey with a negative response in terms of increased t/o but the important thing for me is that social media is leading me towards people to partner with, even very local businesses that I hadn't previously met. It's also doing a great job in terms of raising my profile, again in the immediate local area, another thing that has surprised me a great deal. Too early to know if these two factors will, in the end, lead to increased t/o and profit but I'm positive about it at the moment.

  2. Hi Chris,
    I agree Social Networking is excellent for raising your profile and creating brand awareness. This will in the long term help drive more business your way, but its very difficult to quantify.



  3. Interesting poll Laurence thanks for sharing, the thing I find is that many people take part but have not thought through a cohesive strategy. Like all marketing exercises if you are specific about your target marketplace and offer you can attract clients.
    Just like in the real world networking takes time and effort to be successful.

  4. Hi Laurence

    Great looking site full of interesting info. please take a look at mine in return. Aso I have something I think you would add great value to

    Baz Smith

  5. Hi Baz,

    Thanks for your comment, have looked at your site but its not for me. Its about sticking to your knitting.

    Cheers Laurence

  6. Great post, Laurence! Thanks for sharing it!

    I believe that a majority of people pursuing social media marketing don't realize how much of a time commitment it takes to be successful. Just building a following isn't enough. One needs a continuous presence, with plenty of interaction. At least as much as in brick & mortar transactions, people online want to buy from people they feel they've come to know & can trust. Cultivating that feeling can truly be like a second full time job. But if it's done correctly, a merchant should see very good business results.


  7. Hi Jeanine,

    You have hit the nail on the head. It will be interesting to see when I rerun the survey in about 6 months if the statistics reflect that commitment or if it still shows people expecting short term results, which apart from the odd lucky hit is very unlikely.



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