Social Media is Critical to Growth of Small and Medium Sized Businesses

A recent LinkedIn survey of financial decision makers at small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. and Canada revealed that social media plays a critical role in the growth and marketing efforts of their business.

The survey entitled Priming the Economic Engine: How Social Media is Driving Growth for Small and Medium Businesses, surveyed 998 small and medium business professionals with revenue between $1 million and less than $50 million.

The study, which focused on helping financial services providers understand the value of social media for connecting with SMBs, found social media to be invaluable.

Some key findings of the study:

social-media-channels-for-financial-advisors

  • Eighty-one percent of SMBs that were surveyed use social media and, of this group, nearly all of them (94 percent) use it to market their businesses.
  • However, 49 percent of those SMBs also see social media as a valuable source for learning about their markets and about growing a business. This means that they are using it to connect with their peers, discover best practices, learn from other experts, and get answers to their business questions.
  • Those surveyed found that social media is a highly effective way to maintain brand presence and identity (90 percent) and a meaningful source of lead generation (82 percent).
  • The study also found that 68 percent of the SMBs surveyed use social media for finance-related reasons – for example, keeping up to date on financial trends, gathering information about financial companies and products, and getting advice on financial decisions.

The marketing opportunity for financial service advisors in Marin is clear. They must become active participants on social media networks, and start delivering the content that local SMB owners are not currently receiving. We recommend content that engages readers such as best practices, eBooks, new product information, market conditions and outlooks, etc.

If the facts aren’t enough to get your financial advisor social media started, they also found compelling links between the growth of a business and its spending on social media. Three out of five businesses that were surveyed were in growth mode – showing an increase in revenue from year to year – while one in six businesses were in “hyper growth” mode, meaning that they’re showing significant increases in revenue.

We recently completed work on two financial advisor’s websites from the Marin area.

  • Stoffer Wealth Advisors: A financial advisor based in San Rafael and owned by former Chez Panisse chef Jeff Stoffer. By taking his love of cooking and the approach he takes with clients, we were able to merge the two into one big cooking pot. Take a look at the Stoffer Wealth Advisor informational business video that we filmed on location in Jeff’s kitchen. Who wouldn’t want to be at a dinner party with Jeff?

 Jeff’s approach to social media is acting on a very micro-local level with participation in various Marin county Patch websites, as well as Nerd Wallet.

  • Gainer Financial & Insurance Services: Based in San Rafael, Gainer Financial has a unique process and philosophy to their approach with their clients. It all starts with understanding your “hidden assets” and how they can work for you or how to stop them from working against you. Roger Gainer and his team approach social media as a teaching tool and can often be found answering consumer questions in the Nerd Wallet forums.

Social media is no longer an option for your local Bay Area, small and medium sized financial advisor business – it’s a critical part of your success. By participating and engaging your prospects, as this survey shows, you have the opportunity to increase your brand’s awareness, the number of leads you receive from online activities, and be able to provide your local community with the information it says it wants.

By Marc Apple