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A New Year’s resolution for small business owners

54769385 - social media chat share global communication conceptWhat’s your New Year’s resolution? A new report shows that 51 percent of small business owners plan to increase their online presence through online marketing and social media sites in the year ahead. That’s an important pledge, given the fact that research shows that many small companies still lag behind larger companies in terms of online marketing.

How far behind? For starters, it’s estimated that 29% of small businesses still have no website. While that’s down from 46% that didn’t have a website in 2016, it still demonstrates there is a substantial number of companies that lack this key business tool of the 21st century.

According to research provider Gallup, fewer than half (44%) of small business owners say their business has an “active social media strategy.” That’s surprising, given the fact that businesses in a variety of industries can benefit from marketing on social media. Additionally, fewer than one quarter of small businesses surveyed said that they have invested in apps or have developed the mobile optimization capabilities for their website — even though a growing number of people are using apps and access their favorite websites and social media channels via mobile devices. In addition, only a small share of small businesses allow customers to make appointments or submit online applications. (Studies show that demand for both online services is climbing.)

Not all companies benefit from online marketing equally, of course. But the Gallup research suggests that customers and clients increasingly want online tools and want to interact with companies on social media. And that makes a presence online and on social media so important.

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