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Many small businesses ask whether social media is actually worth their time and money. At Fonality, we made the move into social media for a lot of reasons: to increase awareness of our brand, to engage with our customers and to generate new leads. 

Social media conversation bubblesWhen we upgraded our base operating system and integrated Box with our Heads Up Display Web software in 2013, we announced these changes to our online community. Our presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media sites allows us to stay in contact with our customers, share information about our products and distribute other content that is relevant to our audience. It's been a great way for us to broaden our reach and show our community that we are interested in becoming a part of their online network.

And we aren't the only ones investing in social media. In 2014, Social Media Examiner found more than 9 out of 10 marketers said social media is important for their business [Download the report here]. Why are so many companies turning to social media? Because, like us, they're seeing a return on their investment. According to a Somemto infographic aabout the ways social media influenced business in 2014, more than a quarter of time spent online is now dedicated to social media.

  1. Social media sites have a huge audience to tap into, and that audience is growing. Statista estimates more than 1.96 billion people worldwide will use social networks by the end of 2015. They project that number will grow to 2.44 billion by 2018.

  2. People spend a lot of time on social media websites. In January 2013, users spent on average 405 minutes on Facebook each month, which translates to 6.75 hours.

  3. Social media is habit-forming. Facebook users are many and has the most engaged users, according to a Pew Reseach study. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn round out the top five for daily use. This means posting regularly and at the right time of day, will likely improve your results. As a B2B company, we've found our site and blog traffic inceases at lunch time and after business hours and dips over the weekends.

  4. Social media influences life offline. Social networks impact buying decisions for nearly three quarters of us. At least 4 in 10 people say they'be bought something online or at a store after seeing the item favorited on social media.

  5. Social media can help businesses connect with their customers. Customers like to feel like they've made a good decision when they buy according to study by Spredfast. Social media from your company can help with that. The study found 30 percent of those surveyed said social media influenced where they shopped, and social media from brands also encourage 3 in 10 to take action.. Plus, your social channels are a great way to reach one of the most desirable customer segments. Sixty-two percent of Millenials want to enage with brands on social media.
Whether to market your business on social media isn't really a question anymore. It's the norm. Smart marketing professionals are continually refining their social media presence now and are reaping the rewards. We're sure working hard on it at Fonality!

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[Originally published April 22, 2013.]