Small Business Social Media Use: Comparing the US and UK
Posted by Matt Krautstrunk on October 15, 2010 in Internet Marketing, Social Networking [ 0 Comments ]
According to the Forum of Private Businesses 52% of small business enterprises in the UK use social media. This usage is quite comparable to the 69% of small businesses in the US that employ social media strategies. In the United Kingdom, “However, of that 52%, over half (27%) expressed serious doubts about the value of the popular networking sites,” according to the Forum of Private Businesses. The social media usage percentage of SMB’s in the UK is very similar to the use of social media in the United States, but the effectiveness of UK social media efforts are severely lacking.
UK is not convinced on the magical powers of social media because they are either, not willing to adapt and commit resources to social media, or their outreach is not hitting a receptive audience. Forum of Private Business spokesman Phil McCabe said, “It’s clear that, while a lot of our members are certainly trying out social media for their businesses, many remain unconvinced of its benefits. We believe that social media does hold a great deal of potential for many SMEs. Its conversational, real-time nature makes it ideal for entrepreneurs and small, dynamic firms, which often have much more relaxed attitudes towards public relations than big corporations.” The United Kingdom’s apprehension towards the technology may be half of the reason they are not seeing value. Engagement is the biggest advantage of social media and with that, it requires a great deal of passion and understanding of your community. It’s widely known that Americans aren’t the only ones using social media marketing, but we are a nation who is optimistic about the technology.
According to Brian Solis at Social Media Today, “Overall, 58% believe that social media has met their expectations. And, herein lies the true opportunity. As we all think about what we know in terms of social networks, we realize that possibilities and success are practically infinite and that learning and experience are practically equalized for everyone.” The social media “playing field” for American SMB’s is quite competitive but we, as small businesses, first use this amazing technology to attract new and potential customers. We then use it to foster a community and stay engaged with our customers.
The 27% of United Kingdom’s small businesses that haven’t bought in to the social media hype likely failed at attracting new customers. Whether it’s the lack of dedicated resources, or their emanating pessimism towards the technology that have caused these 27% fail we will never know. We do know that Americans are passionate about engaging on social media channels because 45% believe that their efforts will become profitable in the next 12 months.
Image Credit: Ezine Articles, Marc