Social networking now a marketing necessity

40 percent of Australian businesses are successfully winning new customers through social networking activity, according to a new global survey from Regus, with over two-thirds reporting that marketing campaigns are less effective if they don’t feature a social media component.

Regus Regional Vice President of Australia New Zealand & South East Asia, William Willems, said as businesses emerge from the downturn they’re increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies.

“From supply chain management, to leaner working practices, cloud computing, increased use of video communications and mobile working, no area of business is being overlooked,” he said.

Nevertheless, the survey found Australian and global companies stressed the need for a balance of traditional and new media. Without both, they said, marketing campaigns will not work.

The survey revealed:

  • 52 percent of businesses globally and 48 percent in Australia use websites such as Twitter and Weibo to engage and inform existing customers.
  • 53 percent of firms globally and 52 percent in Australia encourage their employees to join social networks.
  • Over a third of Sydney businesses devote up to 20 percent of their marketing budgets to social networking activity, followed by Brisbane 35 percent, Melbourne and Perth 34 percent and Adelaide 33 percent.
  • Globally, there has been a rise of 7 percent in the proportion of businesses successfully recruiting new customers through social networks such as Facebook.

According to Willems, social networking is no longer seen as an optional extra but a marketing necessity.

“Particularly in Australia where a recent report by comScore Inc reveals that social networking accounts for 1 of every 5 minutes spent online in Australia, more and more companies are leveraging this channel to increase the loyalty of existing customers, and as a successful acquisition tool,” he said.

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