It is indisputable that the Internet, with its ever-expanding base and social media platform, is an important aspect of any marketing scheme. But a new study indicates that good old-fashioned networking in person is still valuable and vital to the success of both small- and new-business owners.
According to the August 2012 study commissioned by MOO.com, a Providence-based, online printing company specializing in business cards and business-related printing, in-person networking is more valuable to driving new revenue for small businesses than its online counterpart.
Small-business owners clearly see an economic impact due to networking, as nearly 90 percent reported it has resulted in “at least some” new business, and nearly one-third said it has brought “a lot” of new business to their company.
Of the small-business owners surveyed, 44 percent believe if they were to hand out 100 business cards it would generate a sum of $5,000 or more in new revenue.
The study was performed by Ipsos Observer of New York City, a global independent market-research company that specializes in advertising, marketing and media research. A sampling of 1,007 American respondents were interviewed between July 30-Aug. 8, 2012 for the study.
“It was an online survey of the general population of those 21 years old or older, those working that have a business card,” said Keita H. Williams of Atomic PR in New York City on behalf of MOO.com. “But there was also a subset specifically for small-business owners.”
“There were a lot of interesting questions asking how people use the social media, how they follow-up both in person and online, the impact of your presence in person and how you present yourself, even what people look for when networking. In effect it was a state-of-the-union of networking in general,” she said.
Among the findings:
• Seventy percent of those surveyed engage in online networking through the standard social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but oddly, only half list their social network sites on their business cards; furthermore, only one-third find social media “very valuable” to their business.