EMarketer recently reported about a study on how small businesses would be spending their online marketing dollars in 2009, and the results were interesting at times, and downright scary at others.

The article pointed out that the study found that only 37% of respondents do NOT use social networking, the lowest percentage, even lower than the 38% that do NOT have a website! Seriously? Social networking is now more important than having a website to small businesses?

I also noted that 70% of respondents said they would not be blogging in 2009 (and I think that figure will actually be much higher), and 82% won't be incorporating mobile devices into their online marketing efforts.

What concerns me about these figures is how it suggests that the respondents may be placing too much importance on social networking, and not enough on other online marketing channels. If you want to create and maintain an active presence on MySpace and Facebook, it should be because you have identified that your current and potential customers are there, not because 'everyone else is doing it'.  You may be reading all the excitement about social media and social networking and feel that this is something that you 'need' to be doing.

You don't 'need' to be using social media to grow your small business.  I think you should do some research to determine if social media should be in your business growth toolbox, but social media isn't right for every business. Don't invest your limited resources in any tool unless you have reason to believe that it will help you grow your business, and be worth the time and money investment.

January 28, 2009

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.


I agree that social media strategies need to be developed, often there is the possibility of doing a lot of things online but not really in a manner that reaps maximum benefit.


Thanks for the post. It is true that there are many words in the business world that most people should understand. The more there are tossed around, the better we can all be on the same page and run more efficient businesses. Thanks for sharing.

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This may seem like an old question to some but I haven't been able to find an answer or opinion. Do links from Facebook etc. have any kind of affect on SEO? I assume not because otherwise everybody would just set up hundreds of profiles linking back to their sites and therefore this would constitute link farming to some degree?

Loving this information from the blogs.

Wonderful articles, I love this line..

"If you want to create and maintain an active presence on MySpace and Facebook, it should be because you have identified that your current and potential customers are there, not because 'everyone else is doing it"

I know too many people who do get caught up on it and not taking the ROI factor, especially time it takes to see if this is actually worth pursuing. Even if it does bring you business, is it taking away from other aspects that bring you more business.. prioritize!!

I know someday I will venture out into the wild world of web 2.0, but for right now, it would take away from my other more productive activities.

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The process that the organization uses to ensure repeat business/usage of its products/services on an ongoing basis

Quite an eye-opener. But yes, social network effectivity varies with every business plan. That's why you have to think (assess&plan) before you act(implementing plan).

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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > Don't Be Blinded By Social Media and Social Networking