Survey reveals importance of social media to SMEs

The importance of social media for small businesses has been highlighted by a new survey which reveals that nearly 30 per cent of SME retailers are using more than three forms of social media to attract business.

Every business surveyed used at least one form of social media but 29 per cent are using three or more channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

The survey, carried out SAP Anywhere, also revealed that:

  • Over three quarters of respondents (79%) stated technology is helping their business overcome ongoing business challenges.
  • Four out of 10 highlighted that reaching new customers was the most important area technology was assisting their business in reaching their future goals.
  • Three out of 10 said investment in technology was fundamental to developing new sales and e-commerce.
  • Better customer experience was also cited as a critical role of digital technology for SMEs (13%).
  • Cost was still a drawback for digital investment and growth (23%)
  • Businesses were concerned technology would take the time taken away from running their company, with over a fifth (21%) of respondents citing this as a hurdle.
  • Security was also a key concern, with almost a fifth (17%) noting this as an issue.

EJ Jackson from SAP Anywhere said: “Retailers want to manage and drive their social media, to understand and interact with customers, post simultaneous news, then gain instant tracking and feedback, making social interactions simple and very beneficial to their business. The number using social media will grow exponentially as social selling becomes a critical business opportunity for retailers.”

The survey was conducted face-to-face with over 100 senior retail business leaders at the Internet Retailing Expo and Pulse between April and May, 2016.