social media

A Third of Small Businesses Seek Advice via Social Media

78% of businesses using online media rely more on social networks for business advice than traditional and professional services The latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB) has revealed almost a third of small and mid-sized businesses access advice through social media. The CBBB report, a quarterly poll that reveals the opinions of business owners and senior staff from across the UK, also found that of the business owners that use social media to seek support, 78% rely on it more than traditional methods like their accountant or legal representatives. Despite this increase in the use of social media to access advice, overall businesses remain reliant on traditional means for advice, such as a mentor or professional consultant, with half of small firms emphasising that they had not ... »

One Fifth of UK Businesses Have No Social Media Strategy

Report shows that only a third of UK businesses actively use social media despite it being the fifth most effective marketing tool New research revealed that a fifth of UK businesses are yet to develop a social media strategy. In addition, only 31% of UK businesses currently use social media to promote their business, a big drop from last year when 67% of companies stated that they had implemented a social media strategy. The survey, which consisted of over 300 UK businesses, revealed that although the percentage of those using social media had dropped, it was still considered the fifth most effective marketing tool with 14% of the respondents stating that their social media campaigns directly resulted in sales. The study, by Catalogues 4 Business (C4B), also revealed the most popular soci... »

Making Social Media Work for You and Your Business

Making Social Media Work for You and Your Business

With so many people around the world participating in social media, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to communicate with the consumer. According to statistics in its IPO, Facebook, the largest and most popular social network, currently has 845 million monthly active users (Techcrunch, February 2012). For a growing business, this equates to 845 million potential customers. Social media opens the door for businesses to listen to what customers are saying about their products and respond to all comments, whether positive or negative. Advertising on social media has become one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reach a wide audience. A survey by Regus 2011 has shown that 42% of small businesses win business using social media, compared to 35% of companies that have over ... »

Can Social Media Save the High Street?

Can Social Media Save the High Street?

All the indications are that, without urgent action, the UK High Street could turn into a boarded-up ghost-town. In 2011, an estimated twenty shops closed every day, leaving one in seven UK stores empty. Retail guru Retail guru Mary Portas recently found that the proportion of High Street retail spend had dropped to 42%. And the latest Government report, Understanding High Street Performance (2.1Mb PDF), paints a similar picture of town centres in terminal decline, with a third of High Streets either “degenerating or failing”. An array of solutions are being touted, from a £10 million High Street Innovation Fund, to a moratorium on out-of-town shopping centres, and a “National Market Day”. Yet many retailers fear the rise of the internet could finish off the UK High Street; online retail s... »

Customers Talk to their Brands via Social Media

Call centres a turn off in comparison to social media “VIP experience” British businesses getting to grips with social media are only dealing with the “tip of the iceberg” according to a study comparing brands and consumers’ digital interaction. The study, by Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research, found that more than a third of people have already interacted with companies through social media. This is almost double the proportion that it was just eight months ago (19% to 36%). Two thirds of people that have engaged with brands on social media (68%) believe that it has allowed them to find their voice. Most of them (65%) believe social media is a better way to communicate with companies than through call centres, some nine times more than those who felt worse off using... »

Workers See Social Networking Risk to Personal and Corporate Security

One in six (17%) UK employees consider social networking such as Facebook and LinkedIn a major risk to corporate security, according to new research from global risk consultancy Protiviti. The research also found that three in ten (28%) believe that social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn pose a real risk to their own personal security. The use of social networking within UK businesses has soared in recent times, with employees using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for marketing and other processes, including recruitment. However, according to Protiviti’s research, privacy and security are major concerns for users, with employees calling for clearer guidelines on social media usage in the workplace. When asked whether employers should do more or less to explain to staff the principles... »

Social Media – Wake Up Call from Acas

The power of social media to rapidly organise large groups of people – as seen in England’s riots and subsequent clean up – presents new challenges for industrial relations as well as public order. A new report from employment relations experts Acas shows that social networking has already directly influenced how some industrial disputes have been conducted. The accessibility and speed of tools such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook mean that workers can be mobilised more quickly than ever. They can also make it easier to collaborate with other campaign or interest groups. The report Social media and its impact on employers and trade unions (PDF) cites the East Lindsey Refinery disputes where much of the organising was done via websites, such as shopstewards.net and SMS / ... »

Avoiding Customer Service Backlash on Social Media Channels

By David Parcell, Managing Director EMEA and Corporate Officer, Verint Systems Social media has fast become the new medium of complaint as consumers vent their frustrations via means inherently designed to give the world a voice. Customers are taking their frustrations with products and services to sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, in the knowledge that social media networks can generate more attention and faster responses than calling a contact centre. Whilst many customer service executives mull over how they embrace social media channels as another platform from which to serve customers, how many are truly considering how they monitor these channels effectively to isolate potential customer service issues before they become major threats to their reputation and brand? Any custom... »

Small Businesses Spend More Time on Social Media

Almost three-quarters of small firms intend to spend more time social networking in 2011 in an attempt to help boost dwindling sales, research from freelancer sourcing site OfficeCavalry has revealed. The 2011 Freelancers Trends Report, which included a survey of 1,000 small businesses, found that 71% plan to commit more resources to social media this year. OfficeCavalry founder, Andy Turner, said that small firms are turning increasingly to social networking as the economic climate makes it “more and more difficult to sell”. “Small firms are becoming more aware of social media as a channel that enables them to make themselves visible to a bigger customer base. Social networking can be an easy and affordable way to bring traffic to your site by engaging with a user group of people. I... »

SMEs Can Boost Business by Getting IT Savvy

Is Social Media the key to growing your business? UK Small-to-medium-sized businesses can grow and boost their business if they become more IT savvy. So says a recent survey of IT decision-makers of SMEs, which shows that 96% of them consider IT to be crucial to business growth. And yet surprisingly, over a quarter admit that they do not know enough about the topic and how to make it work for their business. The research carried out by HP also shows a broadly optimistic picture when it comes to economic positivity among UK small businesses with over 90% of small firms saying they are optimistic about the future of their business over the next three to five years, while just under half said they were optimistic about the state of the UK economy over the same time period. Another interesting... »

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