Friday, February 26, 2010

Small Businesses Expanding Use of Social Media, Report Says

Adoption of social media by small businesses has doubled over the past year, according to the Small Business Success Index, a study sponsored by Network Solutions and the University of Maryland School of Business. In 2009, approximately 25 percent of small businesses reported using social media, a jump from 12 percent the year before, the study says.

Avery Fellow quoted the Network Solutions Small Business Success Index and a quote from me in a article in the DC Tech Source

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Listen to "Twitter Talk And Small Business Success Index Results" Feb 23rd 1.30 EST

I will be on this show along with , Dr. Alan Glazier, join Anita Campbell for an in-depth discussion on the results of the Small Business Success Index.

This special episode will be followed up with a TweetChat at 8:00PM EST including @ShashiB and @smallbiztrends using the hashtag#SBBuzz @SBBuzz.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

TWESTIVAL San Francisco 2010 - Support @krystyl

Blog World Expo 2008, originally uploaded by ShashiBellamkonda.
All my friends in San Francisco please support @krystyl in her team's efforts to raise money for a good cause using Twestivals Details here

From the organizers:
Twestival is a globally held event brought together by the twitter community to raise money for charity.In February 2009, over 200 + cities worldwide raised $250,000 for Charity Water during Twestival. Making it possible to drink approximately 17 wells in 3rd world countries.

In September 2009, San Francisco chose as their charity to donate to, and raised $6,000 to help raise money for children with cleft lips in 3rd world countries.

San Francisco's goal is to help bring awareness to ConcernWorldWide (@concern) on March 25, 2009. Helping educate children who are in need, helping educate teachers, and build schools where needed.

Joining us for a special performance will be @Stroke9!

Sponsors include but not limited to: Paypal, LIVE105, Tap11, Eye-Fi, PopChips, and more! Full Details of our event can be seen at

If you have any questions please email us at Follow @twestivalsf on Twitter or reach out to @krystyl (SF Coordinator) directly.

Thanks to Amiando and PayPal who have waived all of their fees for event registration to ensure 100% of the amount raised goes directly to Concern Worldwide.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Training dogs to be well behaved attendees #FredNMT

Laurie Luck (@smartdogu:) of brought one of her students Talos to the New Media Conference organized by Feb 2010

One of the great moments of the day was when Jon-Mikel Bailey was talking about mobile computing and Talos voiced his opinion and everyone had a good laugh.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The @netsolcares team

@netsolcares, originally uploaded by ShashiBellamkonda.

I was reading this thought provoking article from @PaulDunay ‘Fire your Director of Social Media!” where two points stand out for me a) making the social media position the caretaker of social activity across the company and b) make social part of the very DNA of the firm?

Successful companies have social media effectively by integrating them with their existing campaigns. Also spreading the activities across the organization. This is a photo of the @netsolcares team at one location. helping this team are others spanning the whole organization. Was a great experience visiting this team iN Hazleton PA

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Network Solutions study finds - 1 in 5 small businesses use social media

On Feb 19th I have the privilege of speaking to several small business members of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce  at the New Media & Technology Conference "How is new media & technology changing the way we do business?" . Network Solutions and the University of Maryland released the latest Small Business Success Index today which highlights the use of Social Media by Small Business. 

Some highlights on the subject of Social Media :


Small business owners use social media to attract new customers:

  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months

Small business owners still have concerns with social media:

  • 50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected
  • 17% express that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet
  • Only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it

“Social media levels the playing field for small businesses by helping them deliver customer service,” says Janet Wagner, director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “Time spent on Twitter®, Facebook® and blogs is an investment in making it easier for small businesses to compete



About the Author

Shashi BellamkondaShashi Bellamkonda is Director – Social Media & Social Media Swami of Network Solutions a company that works together to help small business succeed online with web hosting, do-it-yourself website builder software, online marketing tools and domain names. Visit Shashi Bellamkonda's blog. Shashi is a regular contributor to the DC Examiner and Tech Cocktail. This article contains the opinions and observations of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Network Solutions or its clients or partners


Connect with the author Shashi Bellamkonda:

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Posted via web from FredNMT

Small Business Success Index Finds Social Media Adoption by Small Business Doubles


Small Businesses Mainly Use Social Media to Identify and Attract New Customers

Herndon, VAFeb 16, 2010 – American small businesses are pushing the limits on new ways to improve efficiency in the prolonged downturn, including a steady increase in social media adoption. The third wave of the Small Business Success Index™ (SBSI), sponsored by Network Solutions® and the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, reports social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year.

The SBSI found that nearly one out of five small business owners are actively using social media in their business. Small businesses are increasingly investing in social media applications including blogs, Facebook® and LinkedIn® profiles.

Key social media usage highlights include:

·                   75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site


·                   61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers


·                   57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn®


·                   45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months


In order to meet the growing challenges of a tough market last year, I was forced to consider alternative options to keep my business visible, says small business owner Dr. Alan Glazier, CEO and Founder, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care. “With a very small investment in social media marketing, I was able to generate new business opportunities. Our Google® ranking is consistently number one for many of the phrases people use to search for eye doctors in and around my city and we have received a "bump" in terms of new visitors to the site.  My blog has been picked up by different news sources and led to media interviews. I am now recognized as a thought leader in social networking within my profession and lastly but most importantly, my marketing budget has been reduced by more than 80%.


Customer Engagement Biggest Social Media Usage: 61% of the respondents use social media to identify new customers. The biggest expectation small business owners have from social media is expanding external marketing and engagement including identifying and attracting new customers, building brand awareness and staying engaged with customers. Listen to a podcast on how small businesses can use social media for customer engagement at

Top Small Business Concerns with Social Media: 50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected.  While social media adoption has doubled in the last year, there are still some roadblocks to small businesses fully exploiting its potential. A main concern is the amount of time involved. Another 17% express that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet. Related to this, only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it. 

Tough market conditions mandate small businesses to think and act creatively to sustain themselves,” says Connie Steele, Director at Network Solutions. Social media can be the best friend for small business owners who constantly seek new ways to maximize productivity while keeping costs low. As validated by the SBSI, it is not a question of why small businesses use social media but rather when the adoption rate will accelerate this year.

Other Key Findings from the December 2009 Small Business Success Index:

The index, based on a December 2009 telephone survey of 500 small business owners, also tracks the pulse of U.S. small businesses on six key dimensions of success: capital access, marketing and innovation, workforce, customer service, computer technology and compliance. A detailed copy of the report can be found at

·        Small businesses experience positive effects from the economic downturn:

o        72%  have found ways to operate more efficiently (up significantly from 66% in June)

o        47%have been led to find new products and services that benefit customers

o        43% have become better teams as hard times force people to work together

·                   Building online presence continues to be key focus for small businesses:

o        Company Web sites seem to be the top technology investment in the next two years, with small businesses either adding new features/functionality to their existing Web sites or building one from scratch

o        The ability to showcase their products and services online to attract new customers is second in the hierarchy of technology investments

o        Social media investments rank third in small business investments to be made in the next two years

·                   Customer service the biggest strength of small business owners:

o        Small businesses are highly successful at answering customer questions, ensuring customer satisfaction, showing empathy, providing consistent service, resolving problems and winning repeat business

o        Four of the six customer service dimensions have gotten stronger compared to a year ago, and one of these, ensuring customer satisfaction, is significantly higher

To download a copy of the Small Business Success Index and also find out how your business scores on the six key dimensions of small business success, visit

If you are a small business owner interested in finding out how your business can start using social media, join us for a Tweet Chat #SBBuzz on Feb 23rd, 8-10PM (EST). Anita Campbell, Editor of Small Business Trends will moderate the discussion to provide additional insight on how to effectively use social networks to generate results.



About the Robert H. Smith School of Business:
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 13 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland at College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, Ph.D. and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs at locations in North America and Asia.

About Rockbridge Associates Inc.:
Rockbridge Associates Inc. is a leading market research firm based in Great Falls, Virginia. Its clients include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and associations. Rockbridge conducts primary research and consulting to help with product design, positioning, pricing, and customer satisfaction.

About Network Solutions, LLC:
Network Solutions®, the leading provider of online solutions for small businesses, offers a full range of services including: search engine marketing, Web hosting, Web site design, e-commerce, SSL certificates, e-mail and domain name registration services. Network Solutions draws on 31 years of experience to make it simple and affordable for customers to build and manage an online presence through a one-stop Web Solutions provider. Additional information about Network Solutions' offerings is available at

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Speaking at the 4th Annual IMA (Internet Merchants Association) Conference Las Vegas Mar 1 & 2 2010



I am very thrilled to be invited to speak at The Internet Merchants Association's fourth annual conference. The conference begins March 02, 2008 and runs through March 03, 2010. This leading industry conference is presented in conjunction with the ASD/AMD variety Merchandise Show, the ASD/AMD Gift Expo and the ASD/AMD Jewelry Show. The trade shows begin on March 1

If you are a e-commerce seller specially from around the Las Vegas area I hope you are planning to attend. More details at

Also read the IMA blog at

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Facebook feed from your friends may not be your choice

Hat tip to Connie CrosbyPLEASE READ THIS ONE! "I just found this out. Facebook is blocking all of your friends' news feeds except the 250 they randomly choose. To Undo, From HOME page, select MOST RECENT then scroll to bottom of page, click "Edit Options" (bottom right side). Type 5000 instead of 250 for FB's maximum friend limit & your feed will work again."

Monday, February 01, 2010

Local Influencers – Washington DC metro area

Jessica Knows best :). She is compiling a directory on her blog of local influencers and this post is my entry.

Washington DC / Maryland/Virginia  Rockville /Baltimore /Farifax /Reston /Herndon

Favorite restaurants, attractions, and little known activities.

Best place to park in DC over the weekend visiting museums is the Ronald Regal building which is very close to the National Mall.

Indique Heights ( Chevy Chase), Chao Phra Ya ( Thai Herndon), Tara Thai ( Gaithersburg) ZIki ( Gaithersburg)

My Ten favorite places to network in the DC area.

A little about me:
I love people and connecting other folks to earn karma points. Love organizing grass roots events. Day job is Social Media Swami ( Director – Social Media) for Network Solutions. Love networking for breakfast, lunch.

  • Featured in the Washington Business Journal
  • Washingtonian Magazine Top 100 Tech Titan for 2009

    Best way to contact:

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