‘Busy’ small businesses continue to overlook social media: Report


Small businesses are either unsure or too busy to fully capitalise on the potential of social media, an industry analyst says, after it was revealed only 27% of SMEs are utilising social media.


This figure comes from a report published by Yellow Pages in partnership with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association.


The report is based on a survey of 1,951 Australian SMEs regarding their usage of social media marketing. The survey reveals only 27% of small businesses and 34% of medium businesses have a social media presence.


But other research highlights the widespread use of social media among the general public.


According to social media analytics firm Socialbakers, nearly 55% of the Australian population uses Facebook. That equates to 11.8 million people.


Of those 11.8 million people, the average person spends a staggering six hours per week on Facebook alone.


“It’s clear that social media has enormous potential when it comes to marketing,” says Matt Thomson, co-founder of social media marketing firm Connect Social Media.


“The problem is, most small business owners are unsure and too busy to fully capitalise on social media’s potential.


“The average small business owner is simply too busy running their business to focus on keeping up with their Facebook page.


“And for the ones that do spend time on social media, they are often overwhelmed with where to start.”


But Thomson says small business owners need to rethink their approach to social media or risk losing out.


“Social media marketing is a burgeoning industry filled with nuances and best practices that seemingly change on a daily basis,” he says.


“I am a small business owner myself so I know firsthand the struggles of balancing day-to-day activities with my marketing efforts.


“There are plenty of social media pros out there that promise results.”


Thomson’s comments come after fashion retailer Just Jeans was forced to apologise to its customers after a Facebook user posing as a company spokesperson posted offensive comments on the retailer’s Facebook page.


Over a 12-hour period, a number of customers unwittingly engaged in discussions with the fake Just Jeans account on the official page.


Michael Simonetti, founder and managing director of digital agency AndMine, told SmartCompany yesterday businesses need to keep a close eye on any social media they use.


“It’s a hard one for businesses to monitor, especially overnight, but it is their responsibility,” he said.