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Small business still not friends with social media

By Ryan Jon Dunn
Friday, 25 February 2011

More than three-quarters of small businesses don’t utilise social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, according to new research.


The survey, conducted by Bank of Queensland, showed that while 80% of business owners believe a social media presence would assist their companies many believe they don’t have time.


Around 60% of those without an online presence say time is the primary barrier.


BoQ says while most Australian small businesses haven’t jumped onto the social media trend recent natural disasters have highlighted its importance and effectiveness.


BoQ chief operating officer Ram Kangatharan says: “I would expect that social media will only increase in usage following its success as a communication tool during the recent floods in Queensland.”


“I have no doubt that time plays a part in preventing small businesses from adopting this technology.


“Small business owners and managers are often required to work long hours simply to keep their business functioning.


“The concept of taking more time to not only communicate via social media but to simply understand its potential is a barrier that is obviously too great for most Australian small business owners right now.”


Kangatharan says if some businesses don’t take part in social media shortly they risk missing a golden opportunity.


“The risk of course is that if small business owners aren’t using social media tools to interact with their customers then their big business counterparts or SME competitors who have become early adopters of the new technology may be gaining a competitive advantage,” he says.


The BoQ research follows a report last week that revealed that two thirds of Australian businesses don’t have a website.

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