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Maryland small businesses find social media benefits

Scott MacMullan, an Annapolis solo practitioner, says lawyers should use social media, such as Facebook, to engage with both colleagues and potential clients. ‘It’s a way to start a dialogue and develop a relationship with people where you can then take it offline,’ he says. (AP file photo)

In Maryland a new survey found that 65 percent of small businesses viewed social media platform Facebook as ‘essential’ to their firm. (AP file photo)

A recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that small businesses are increasingly turning to social media to help grow their business.

In Maryland the survey found that 65 percent of small businesses, which employ more than 50 percent of the state’s workforce, called social media platform Facebook “essential” to their firm. The same percentage of companies said social media allows them to find customers in other parts of the country they may not be able to reach without Facebook.

Companies also said they believe having skills in using social media are important for job seekers. Of the firms surveyed 81 percent said digital and social media skills are important when considering a new employee.  Some businesses reported that social media helped bring in new employees, with 38 percent of state firms saying social media has helped hire additional employees.

One of the companies included in the survey is Baltimore-based Oyin Handmade. The firm’s owner, Jamyla Bennu, said she uses targeting advertising on Facebook and features on the site to help target customers.

The report was compiled using three national and state level surveys last year by Morning Consult.

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