When one thinks of social media and business, what comes to mind is typically a large company with its own brand page on Facebook. In comparison, small businesses are rarely associated with social networks but this may be about to change.
According to a new study from technology services provider BaseKit, social networks have become small businesses’ favourite way to attract new customers. In fact, the use of social platforms has overtaken more traditional methods, including print advertising and Yellow Pages, the Financial Times notes.
The study shows that more than one in three small businesses in the UK now use Facebook as a marketing tool, compared to over a quarter who advertise on local directories. Twitter has also gained in popularity among small companies, with one in six having created an account to attract customers there. The microblogging platform is nearly as popular an option as print advertising and online advertising.
For its study BaseKit interviewed 500 small business owners, ranging from sole traders to small partnerships, and concluded that UK small businesses are embracing social media as a marketing option, mostly due to the fact that it is cost-effective.
However, the study also found that more than half of the small companies in the UK are yet to make an online appearance. In addition, just a quarter of those surveyed currently accept online payments.
For those small businesses who have a web presence, it is crucial to incorporate tools like sharing, blogs and video into their websites to make sure they are not missing out on opportunities to engage customers, business expert Rachel Bridge comments.