Small businesses are finally getting comfortable using social media for marketing purposes, according to SMB Business Perspectives, a new survey conducted by online survey company Zoomerang Online Surveys and Polls in conjunction with my company, GrowBiz Media.
The survey polled small and midsize business owners about their biggest challenges for 2011 and their plans for 2012. Not so coincidentally, the challenges they overwhelmingly say they faced this year -- attracting new customers and clients (cited by 44 percent) and retaining existing ones (cited by 32 percent) -- are the same ones they plan to work on in 2012. Sixty percent say attracting more customers will be their primary focus, and 38 percent plan to focus on customer retention. So far, only 33 percent of those surveyed are using social media, but 40 percent say they intend to use it next year. There is a sizable percentage of entrepreneurs (25 percent) who don’t feel comfortable using social media. Why it matters to your business: If you're not already using social media, I hope this convinces you that you'd better get social or be left behind. Interestingly, when asked what their main sources of new customers would be in 2012, 25 percent of the entrepreneurs cited word-of-mouth, and 25 percent said repeat business. Social media can help you with both of those goals -- so get cracking!
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place