Australia’s small and medium-sized enterprises are yet to take full advantage of the social media boom by using social networking as a means to promote their business, according to a survey by interactive marketing services firm Acxiom Corporation and Professional Public Relations.
The Acxiom Australia and Professional Public Relations SME Digital Marketing Survey was conducted in March, 2010, and research compiled on a sample of businesses that represented the national SME market.
The survey found that 75 percent of question respondents said they do not read or write blogs, monitor or participate in social networking.
The Acxiom Australia and Professional Public Relations SME Digital Marketing Survey also found that only 10.2 percent of respondents had a company Facebook page. Further research indicated that while approximately half of these pages were for business purposes, the remainder were personal pages.
Question respondents also reported that:
- 30 percent hardly ever update the content on their websites.
- 78 percent had no e-commerce element to their website.
- Only 30 percent used Google Adwords, Yahoo! sponsored search, or online banner advertising.
- 86 percent are not using email marketing to communicate to new or existing customers.
Most SMEs prefer to be reached by phone, rather than email, and 80 percent of respondents stated that word of mouth is their most successful channel for attracting new business. While nearly 70 percent of respondents said they did have their own website, making the internet the second most popular means by which business communicated with their customers, 51 percent could not measure their web traffic.
“These survey results show that Australia’s SMEs are yet to fully embrace the power of the web in driving sales and growth of their business,” said Paul Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Acxiom Australia and New Zealand. With most SMEs strongly relying on word of mouth for customer acquisition, it’s a natural progression for SMEs to adopt social media to engage with current and potential customers.”