Enterprise 2.0, meet Small Business 2.0.
A recent survey shows that 55 percent of 120 surveyed small business owners believe that online social networking -- such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook -- can be beneficial to their businesses.
The survey, conducted by online payroll service SurePayroll, indicates that one out of every five of the small business owners polled have obtained at least one new customer as a direct result of using social media.
According to the company's report:
With more than 50 million non-college attendees using Facebook today, the prominence of social media is growing. Professional social networking site LinkedIn grew 187% over the past year. Based on a research project developed by Universal McCann, 36% of online users think more positively about companies that have blogs. In the SurePayroll survey, 85% of business owners participating in social media for business are doing so by way of blogging online.
"(Social media) is no longer just an outlet for personal use -- it's rapidly becoming a must for business success," said David Rohrer, SurePayroll's online marketing manager, in a statement. "Big business is tapping into the blogosphere and posting their company profile pages in online communities. Small business owners need to do the same. What's so great about the online world is you don't need a million-dollar marketing budget. In fact, the most effective online connections are free personal communications from a business owner to their community."