The eBiz Review survey, conducted by Melbourne IT, found that 53 percent of SMBs using social media achieved online revenue sales of over 20 percent, compared to only 38 percent on non social media SMBs. For 75 percent of businesses using social media, Facebook was the preferred choice, followed by Twitter with 47 percent and LinkedIn with 42 percent.
The survey highlights the growing importance of social media to SMBs, according to Melbourne IT’s SMB eBusiness Solutions executive general manager, Damon Fieldgate.
“We think the correlation between eSMBs’ social media use and higher revenues from their websites will certainly encourage a lot of small businesses to reconsider how they can use social media tools to help their business,” Mr Fieldgate said.
“However, it is not as simple as setting up a Facebook page and hoping for the best. SMBs need to think about how social media fits into their online strategy and seek advice where necessary to integrate social media tools with their existing online investments to ensure success,” added Mr Fieldgate.
The difficulty in maintaining a social media presence was reflected by the survey, with 28 percent on SMBs with an established online presence claiming they had no time to keep their social media up to date. Despite this problem, 15 percent of non-users said they planned to include social media in their future online strategy.
This willingness of more companies to get involved in social media is a positive step for Australian businesses, affirms Mr Fieldgate.
“We were really encouraged by the results of the eBiz Review as it paints a picture of a confident and innovative online small business sector which is using the Internet in smart ways to create competitive advantage. Small businesses are embracing the Internet to help them unlock growth and succeed,” Mr Fieldgate said.