The Small Business Authority announced today the findings of its SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, a monthly window into the concerns & state of independent business owners.
Based on a poll of over 2,000 respondents, one of the key findings from the July survey is 57% of business have a Twitter or Facebook account. The findings from last year compared to this year show 10% more business owners are using social media.
Additionally, only 30% of those polled are concerned about Twitter or Facebook using their clients’ data, which is a troubling stat given recent new and developments regarding both social media platforms security troubles.
Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are revolutionary and evolutionary product for small business owners. Social media has provided owners with a cost effective, “free” way to have a web presence, as well as a tool to communicate with customers and suppliers. Small companies can now create a big presence for no apparent cost.
The Small Business Authority believes that there is a cost to business owners that have a Facebook account. By using 3rd party services, small business owners are giving away their customer information including preferences, spending patterns and contact information.
Barry Sloane, Chairman, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority commented “if you were a business owner and were offered $72 for all of your customers’ valuable information, would you sell it? The answer is NO. We believe that over course of time, the business owners surveyed will lean towards increased privacy and security for their customer information.”
“Our poll recognizes that not only do small businesses underutilize a great marketing tool in social media, most do not worry about the risks or trade off inherent in social media. We do see a year-over-year increase in total utilization of social media by 10%”
He added “this is a good trend for small business, however we are amazed that, while consumers are outraged at the concept of the federal government having access to personal phone and internet data, businesses and consumers regularly share their most sensitive information such as customer lists and other data with Google, Facebook and Apple while using “free” social media services. Further education in the use of these tools should broaden their usage and educate independent business owners about its positives and negatives.”