Conducted in February of this year, the Bibby survey also found that half of Aussie small business owners are using social media to raise brand awareness and source new customers, while 40 per cent are using it to generate new sales and 44 per cent to provide networking opportunities, effectively contributing to business growth. Of those businesses surveyed, 65 per cent reported that social media has helped their business grow over the past year.
“Social media is increasingly being used as an extra communication channel to raise small business’ profiles and reach new and existing clients,” Gary Green, National Sales Director, Bibby Financial Services Australia, says. “A third of the businesses surveyed said that social media has helped them improve customer service and stay ahead of competition and as many as 22 per cent have used social media to recruit new staff.”
According to the Yellow Pages Social Media Report, June 2012, 83 per cent of Australian small business are using Facebook, 27 per cent Twitter, 20 per cent are on LinkedIn and approximately 12 per cent are using Google Plus or YouTube. Overall, on average businesses are spending over $3,000 a year on their social media presence.
“With optimism on the rise and confidence in sales growth at levels not seen since July 2011, it is not surprising that businesses are using social media to generate new business and raise their profile,” Green adds. “We believe small businesses are more willing to think outside the box in terms of promoting themselves and embark on new marketing strategies.”
Of the businesses survey, those most likely to use social media are young entrepreneurs aged between 18-39 years (66 per cent) compared to older entrepreneurs aged 40-64 years (39 per cent).
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