Does social media hype exceed reality for small biz?

A Wall Street Journal article looks at the impact social media is having on small businesses.

A Wall Street Journal article looks at the impact social media is having on small businesses. While some companies share success stories, Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, told the WSJ, "The hype right now exceeds the reality."

More and more small businesses are tackling social media, according to a recent survey, but the tactics are not always proving to be profitable. WSJ reports:

Meanwhile, a separate survey of 500 US small-business owners from the same sponsors found that just 22% made a profit last year from promoting their firms on social media, while 53% said they broke even. What's more, 19% said they actually lost money due to their social-media initiatives.

To gain positive results, entrepreneurs need to regularly interact with consumers through these sites and not simply create static profiles, says Jacob Morgan, co-owner of Chess Media Group Corp., a consulting firm in San Francisco that specializes in social media.

Some small businesses opt to hire outside firms to handle their social-media marketing or advise them on the best ways to use it, but such services can cost hundreds of dollars a month.

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