Your customers are spending a great deal of time on social media sites.

TrendStream’s  Global Web Index published a global map of the social web. It’s a stunning visual tool that details social media usage around the globe.

You can download the map here.

Global map of social media involvement
This map shows that 92.1 million Americans manage a social network,profile, (such as Facebook), 10.7 million use a microblogging service, (such as Twitter), and 17.6 million Americans write their own blogs.
Just looking at the number of people who participate in social networks, that’s roughly a third of the population of the U.S. And those numbers are pretty reflective of the social media usage in Canada. 10.2 million Canadians manage a social network profile, 1.1 million use microblogging services and 2.3 million write their own blogs.

Global Web Index says that, “The social web is mass market: Hundreds of millions of web users are creating and sharing content every month.” There’s no escaping the fact that social networks are where your customers are.

Big businesses like Dell Outlet, Pepsi and even department stores like Sears have incorporated social media into their marketing efforts. Small businesses, however, have been slow to adopt these marketing channels.
A recent article in the Detroit News, The Business of Social Networking, cited mixed feelings about social media marketing and small business. Some small business owners don’t feel the need to engage in social media and think it’s a waste of time. Others though, who were once skeptical of social media’s business benefits, report  tremendous success by incorporating social media in their marketing.
Just ten years ago, many small businesses didn’t see the need in having a website. Now, every business knows the importance of an online presence and many rely on the internet and their websites to drive sales.

As the internet’s popularity grew and internet access became easier and more readily available, businesses learned that their customers were looking for them online. What was once thought to be a “waste of time”, proved to be “the place to be” to conduct business.
Today, with a third of the population participating in social media sites, doesn’t it make sense that your business should be where your customers are?

Charlie Wollborg, partner at marketing firm, Curve Detroit says, “If you don’t have social media, it’s like having an unlisted phone number.”

Barbara-Anne is the owner of New Media Managers, a boutique digital agency in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  She founded New Media Managers to help overwhelmed local business owners, like you, protect and manage your online line presence so you can get more customers, serve your existing customers, and keep the customers you already have.