Tuesday, 21 February 2012

40 per cent of UK small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) are using social media


Image001

 A new study from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT) reveals that almost 40 per cent of UK small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) are using social media to market their business.

What’s more, the study suggests that nearly eight out of ten (79 per cent) of those currently using social media marketing expect to increase their use of the tool to drive business results in the next year. Of those not using social media marketing currently, 27 per cent plan to begin using it in the next year.




The study, which surveyed almost 700 UK SMEs, found that they have a keen understanding that social media marketing will be increasingly important in the coming months. In fact, over two-thirds (68 per cent) report that social media is an effective way to market their business, and 64 per cent report that social media will become more important in the future. 

Specifically, these smaller companies report that social media is a good way to generate word of mouth and referrals (48 per cent), is cost effective (47 per cent), is a good way to communicate with existing and prospective customers (roughly 45 per cent), and can help their business succeed (45 per cent). 

Facebook is the tool of choice among those SMEs using social media with half (51 per cent) using it for marketing purposes, followed by Twitter (42 per cent), LinkedIn (39 per cent), Flickr (16 per cent) and group deals (10 per cent).

“What’s interesting is that, while the number of UK SMEs using social media marketing is still under 50 per cent, those SMEs who are using it clearly see its value – and are looking to increase their social media efforts,” said Annette Iafrate, UK managing director at Constant Contact. “We’ve believed for some time that social media marketing could offer big value to SMEs, primarily because it is all about engaging, and that’s something that SMEs are real experts at. The issue has been getting to the understanding that doing social media marketing doesn’t have to take a lot of time.”

Time is indeed a clear hurdle to SMEs’ use of social media; a full 41 per cent reported that they believe social media marketing requires a lot of time – something they just don’t have much of. Furthermore, four out of ten feel they need to know more about how to use social media marketing.

“The great news for SMEs is that these hurdles are easily surmounted. There are fantastic tools available today that make social media marketing very easy to manage, both from a time and knowledge perspective,” said Iafrate. “The hardest part is getting started – and we have ways to help there as well.” 

Constant Contact offers a full set of tools to help SMEs find social media success whether they have yet to begin dabbling with social media or they already have engaged fans and followers. SMEs can:

·      Get started with Constant Contact’s Social Media Quickstarter
·      Engage with current and prospective customers using Social Campaigns
·      Listen and monitor all of their social network activity with NutshellMail™ 

Of note, SMEs are using social media in tandem with other, more traditional marketing tools to take advantage of the additive effect. Otherhighly rated marketing tactics cited include hosting events, doing email blasts, using paid search, using online event marketing tools, and running traditional advertising.

About the Study
This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was conducted in October 2011 by Chadwick Martin Bailey via an online forum launched in the UK, questioning small business owners and their marketing decision makers. Results include responses from British small businesses across a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries, as well as nonprofits. A total of 680 respondents participated in the study.

About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact is revolutionizing the success formula for small organizations through affordable, easy-to-use Engagement Marketing™ tools that help create and grow customer relationships. 

More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits, and associations worldwide rely on Constant Contact to drive ongoing customer dialogs through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online surveys.  All Constant Contact products come with unrivaled KnowHow, education, and free coaching with a personal touch, including award-winning customer support. 

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. 
 (CTCT-F) 

Post a Comment