New research from Telstra has found that almost three quarters of Australian SMEs are failing to take full advantage of social media to capitalise on new and emerging market opportunities, while others still question its benefit as a business tool.
Telstra’s national research of 1,000 SMEs showed only 24 per cent have embraced social media and were seeing real benefits from online activities, while most believed it neither helped nor hindered them. Interestingly, a further 12 per cent believed social media actually dampened business successes.
Telstra’s research also revealed 77 per cent of businesses believed the internet was the most beneficial technology for their business, followed by online software which was seen as beneficial by half of the respondents. The top three technology services used by SMEs to reduce business costs are online invoicing tools and payment options (33 per cent), mobile broadband (30 per cent) and remote desktop applications (29 per cent).
Group Managing Director of Telstra Business, Will Irving, says that with 62 per cent of adults worldwide now using social media, SMEs ignoring this tool were missing out on a significant business opportunity.
“In a digital age where smartphones and tablets are used on a daily basis, we know customers expect a company to have a social media presence,” explains. “Successful Australian businesses are having a two-way conversation with customers online, allowing them to connect and engage on a personal level, either by providing real time customer service or highlighting relevant new products.”
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