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by Mark Cox
EChannelLine.com

While social media has garnered enormous exposure in the business press,it has translated into very little usage among small business owners and managers, according to a new Citibank / GfK Roper survey.

According to the survey of 500 small business executives across the United States, 76 percent have not found social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be helpful in generating business leads or for expanding their business during the last year. 86 percent say they have not used social networking sites to get business advice or information.

Perhaps surprisingly, the survey found that general search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo! trump small business-focused sites and the WSJ.com as destinations for small business owners to seek business advice or information. 61 percent of respondents say they rely on these search engine sites.

“Our survey suggests that small business owners are still feeling their way into social media, particularly when it comes to using these tools to grow their businesses,” said Maria Veltre, Executive Vice President of Citi’s Small Business Segment, in a statement. “While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them.”

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