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Small-business owners should experience the benefits of social sites

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In today's business environment, it is becoming nearly imperative for small-business owners to use social media. While networking sites certainly help firms build their customers base, having an online social presence also increases their potential of  getting hacked. If businesses want to take advantage of social media, it's a good idea to have a strong cyberliability insurance policy.

Customer engagement via social media correlates to sales
Failing to use social media can have a big impact on the success of the company, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Aalto University, the University at Buffalo and Texas A&M University. Ashish Kumar, assistant professor of marketing at Aalto University, said customers who interact with a firm's social media site contribute 5.6 percent more revenue and visit the business roughly 5 percent more than clients who are not active on the company's social media platforms.

Small-business owners who want to achieve success using  social networks must encourage customers to associate with the brand on such sites. The survey found creating an online community and personalizing messages to certain prospects helps companies achieve higher sales numbers overall.

Is it right to outsource social media?
Many small-business owners don't have the time to be as active on social media platforms as they want to, which can lead them to consider paying an outsider to carry out initiatives on networking sites. A recent article for Forbes discussed the right strategy for outsourcing social media.

"The companies that have the most effective social media communications are those that have a combination of internal and external people doing social media," Eve Mayer, CEO of consulting company Social Media Delivered and author of "The Social Media Business Equation,"{I'm assuming it's a book} told the news source.

Small-business owners who have figured out how they want to use social media may need to join Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and the number of other platforms out there. However, it might also be a good idea for owners at small firms to limit themselves to what they can handle.

"A small company should choose just one and probably not more than three platforms to focus on," Mayer told the source. "It's very rare you'll need more than that. Don't jump on every shiny new thing because that will just distract you and make you lose focus."

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