The explosive growth of Social Media including Twitter and Facebook for personal use has been well documented, however the use of Social Media for business use is less so. As a result Hiscox Business Insurance commissioned a study of business usage of social media usage with Optimum Research, gaining responses from 305 owners, partners and senior decision-makers from UK SMEs with 1 – 249 employees.
The resulting infographic explores how entrepreneurs are now using social media as a business tool. It also looks at the platforms they engage with as a way to reach their prospects, customers, suppliers and trading partners.
Interestingly the study found that 57% of small businesses utilise social media to support their marketing efforts. Looking at the types of platforms they use, Facebook takes precedence with 19% using it for business related social media, compared to 14% who use Linkedin.
The most common purpose businesses gave for engaging with social media was to help increase brand awareness (27%) and a further 15% used it to boost sales.
So why is social media so important to their business models? According to the study by the Neilsen Company, 53% of adults who use social networks follow particular brands and four in five active Internet users visit blogs and other social platforms. It also reveals that social media for business is predicted to take up a significant amount of digital media budgets for SMEs by the end of 2014.
What this infographic illustrates is that more small businesses are becoming more aware of the power of social media as a tool to reach new and existing customers in a dynamic and engaging way.