New poll names Facebook as SME favourite

Date: 26 February 2019

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UK small businesses say Facebook is the social media site they use the most, according to new research.

Facebook is twice as popular as Twitter, which came second in a survey of 1,000 UK and Ireland SME owners conducted by Lightspeed for Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Respondents were asked which social media channels they used to promote their business. The results, in order, were: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

Social media is proving to be an increasingly important sales channel, with 54% of business owners saying that they have made sales from it; in London this rises to 79%, well ahead of any other region.

From a sector perspective, the findings show that those in recruitment (68%) and engineering (64%) have been the most successful in generating sales from social media.

However, only 32% of businesses with less than ten employees said that social media had helped them to make sales. Just one in five of these micro-businesses said they had hired a social media expert.

On average, however, half of the businesses polled said they employ someone to specifically drive their online presence, with engineering firms (60%) leading the way. Regionally, London firms are the most likely (70%) to hire someone to look after their social media.

Over half of businesses polled (54%) said they have put in place company policies to ensure employees are aware how social media can impact the company's brand.

"Businesses of all sizes are increasingly seeing the value in promoting themselves on social media and adding it to the marketing mix," said Neil Davies, ceo, Close Brothers Asset Finance.

"It's no longer the preserve of the larger firms and it's getting them in front of potential customers in a way they could not before, although, unsurprisingly, the bigger the business, the more likely it is they will use social media."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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