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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Do You Get Business From Social Networking?

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Back in January of 2011 I released the figures from a poll which asked users a simple question; Do you get business from social networking? The figures were interesting. The biggest category was those who would like to get business from social networking but had not some 43% of all respondents. At the beginning of this year I thought it would be the right time to see what if anything had changed. Like my 2011 survey I put it out through a number of social networking channels, including my blog, a survey on Linked In in some of the bigger groups in which I was a member, and I regularly asked for responses via Twitter and Facebook updates. I've ended up with a similar number of responses about 200 which in itself is interesting as my own social media footprint is substantially larger now than it was in 2011 when I first ran it.

What struck me was how similar the results were only now it seems its even harder to make Social Networking pay with 50% of respondents saying that "no they had not yet got any business from social networking although they would like to do so".

It seems that even the must use channels take a lot more effort and a lot more time than people realise to generate business. I recognise that the sample is small and potentially unreliable. I would argue that, if anything, my results are biased toward the social media world because that was the community into which I put the survey.

Let me have your comments.

Exigent Consulting provides specialist services for High Growth Business Business Turnaround, and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business. We help business owners improve the profit performance of their business. 


  1. A purely personal point of view without any research to back it up is that social networking has never generated business in any worthwhile quantity.
    However, as a way of raising profile and reinforcing your message for anyone considering using your services I think it has a value.
    The reason why your survey has moved from 43% to 50% acknowledgement of this? We all like to think we are clever people and do not waste our time - lat year 43% of people were honest enought to admit it, this year the honesty level is up to 50%!
    Summary - Don't stop social networking but view it as an addition to your normal marketing activity, not a replacement

    Simon Henton

  2. I have found that social media certainly does work for marketing. I have recently gained a contract personally worth £25k through my social media activity. I have also helped an accountancy client find new customers in the R&D Tax Credit field that have brought him in over £250k additional revenue in the first year of using LinkedIn as a marketing tool. I have another recruitment client who has made contact and fixed up meetings with senior management in McDonald's, Eddie Stobart's, DHL and ASDA to name only a few.

    If you are not getting results from using social media, then you simply do not understand how to use it effectively. The opportunities are massive, so don't dismiss it because you are no good at it or you just don't understand it. Just because you can't make it work doesn't mean it doesn't work, it means you need to do something differently or change your approach to make it work for you. It is well worth taking the time to do some research and get yourself up to date with what is currently working. It will be time well spent so don't give up.

    Nick McDonald

    1. Hi Nick,

      I am personally committed to SN but the conclusions I draw from this is that most people will need some kind of "expert" input to help them make the most of this channel.