The shocking state of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) social media efforts


Sensis and Yellow Pages, in partnership with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), recently produced a report on the usage of social media in Australia.

The report, released 20 May 2013, shares vital information for small and medium sized businesses on the key factors influencing the success of online activities.

Key issues:

  • 30% of small businesses, 47% of medium businesses and 79% of large businesses currently report having a social media presence.
  • 29% of small businesses have no strategy to drive traffic to their social media presence at all. Whilst the most common forms of strategy include:

51% have links on their website

24% advertise social media links in traditional media

7% advertise on social media sites.

  • Social media usage by SME’s is strongest in Western Australia, with impressive results also achieved by Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia. Social media usage by SMEs in regional areas has seen solid growth in the past year, with regional SMEs now more active than their metropolitan counterparts
  • Over two-thirds of all businesses with a social media presence expect that their social media investment will contribute to an increase in sales over the next 12 months – with the average expectation for increase being approximately 12% for SMEs and 9% for larger businesses
  • SMEs with social media were more likely to report increased business confidence (net 30%) compared to SMEs without a social media presence (net 26%)

The report showed an increasing number of consumers are using social media to interact with brand pages, which presents a major opportunity for businesses to connect with them. One in four consumers use social media for commercial purposes including following their favourite brands, researching purchases and accessing offers or promotions.

The startling fact that 29% of small businesses have no strategic social media plan at all means that online activities are not being leveraged to their full potential.

Businesses should carefully consider the benefits that social media can offer their brand, select the specific channels through which to achieve these gains and then implement a strategic plan to ensure the most positive results.

With 95% of consumers using Facebook your business simply cannot afford to miss out on leveraging the full potential of this massive slice of the consumer pie. Consider your investment in social media now and ask, is it really effective enough?

Download the full report here:

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