BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

May 10, 2011 09:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Study: Social Media Could Use More "Followers" in Small Business Community

- However study shows those who use it, "like" it, and more than half say it's an important tool for business

- Facebook leads the way with 58 per cent of business owners leveraging the popular social networking site

- BMO to launch small business social media hub for entrepreneurs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - While social media tools such as podcasts and social networking sites present significant, cost-effective opportunities for businesses to engage customers, a new BMO survey shows that only two in five Canadian small business owners are taking advantage. However, the report also reveals that the majority of entrepreneurs who do use social media (67 per cent) agree it has been beneficial for their business.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, also found:

  • More than half (55 per cent) said they think social media is an important tool
  • Six in 10 business owners who think social media is an important tool expect their business to grow or remain the same this year
  • Business owners in the tourism and arts sector are most likely to say social media is important compared to those in retail or wholesale (76 per cent vs. 49 per cent)

Cathy Pin, Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal, says that entrepreneurs can consider social media as another vehicle to interact with customers, prospective and current, and promote their business.

"At BMO, we recognize that small business owners can benefit from the interactive opportunities presented by social and new media," said Ms. Pin. "For example, we have nearly 100 podcasts available for business owners to listen or download that provide them with advice from top industry experts on everything from cash flow to the importance of social media."

In June, BMO will be launching a small business social media community that will provide small business owners with a go-to resource for podcasts and blog posts offering financial tips and advice.

"Social media has proven to be an innovative and valuable resource for consumers and entrepreneurs to have conversations about ideas, products or services," said Bal Sahjpaul, Director, eChannel, BMO Financial Group. "The small business community will provide a venue for small business owners to seek out the financial advice they're looking for, with an interactive approach so conversations can take place from virtually anywhere."

A ranking of which social media tools entrepreneurs use showed Facebook as the most popular choice at 58 per cent, followed by LinkedIn (24 per cent), Twitter and YouTube (9 per cent respectively).

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