SMEs skeptical about social media’s usefulness

15 Oct 2010

New research from the Forum of Private Business has found that, despite a large amount of SMEs utilising social media websites to promote their businesses, most of them remain skeptical to their usefulness.

The research found that while 52pc of its members now use websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, more than half that amount have expressed serious doubts over their value to business.

According to the Forum of Private Business – a UK-based membership organisation geared towards the interests of small and medium-sized businesses – 21pc described them as “not useful” and 6pc went so far as to label them “useless”.

Stronger global presence

The findings come at a time when social media has never had a stronger global presence, making it an ideal tool for businesses to reach a wider audience.

Indeed, the forum states it believes social media holds a great deal of potential for many SMEs, thanks to its conversational, real-time nature, making it ideal for entrepreneurs and small, dynamic firms which often have “much more relaxed attitudes towards public relations than big corporations”.

The report also found that almost a fifth of small firms still only communicate with customers and suppliers through traditional means, while internet connection speeds and time spent dealing with emails were of prime concern among SMEs in relation to workplace systems and technology reliance.

The survey’s findings can be viewed here.