Optus have released their Business Social Media Index in conjunction with the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) has found similarly poor uptake of social media among business (28%) to MYOB’s business monitor report released Tuesday (18%).
Optus and COSBOA surveyed 380 Australian small and medium businesses found the majority of business owners are not taking advantage of social media as a marketing tool, with most citing the need for a clear return on investment before they will participate online.
The Optus Business Social Media Index found that only 28 per cent of SMBs currently use social media and of those that do they are investing on average over 6.6 hours per week maintaining their business’ online presence.
When it came to motivations not to participate in social media more than half of SMBs not using social media believe that social networking is not appropriate for their industry, while 25 percent believe there is no clear way to build a business case for an investment in the area. Non-users cited customer satisfaction measures (44 percent) and sales data (37 percent) as the key measures of success that might convince them to use social media in the future.
Over the next 12 months an additional 16 percent plan to begin using social media, of those two thirds are still unsure of the benefits, but are willing to try their hand and see what all the buzz is about and find out whether using social media for business is of benefit.
When it comes to measuring success 61 percent of SMBs active in social media cite the number of followers/friends as the key measure of success, while 82 per centcite increasing sales through loyal or engaged customers as the primary benefit, followed by networking at 78 percent.
As for which platforms are used by small business, Facebook is the number one social media site (53%), followed by YouTube (30%), Twitter (27%) and LinkedIn (19%). Setting up a profile on a social media site is by far the most common social media activity, with 77 percent establishing a presence in this way and 68 percent actively responding to posts. Only 27 percent have set up a blog for their business.