16 September 2012
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Optus released Business Social Media Index

Optus and COSBOA recently surveyed 380 Australian small and medium businesses only to found out that surprisingly, the majority of business owners are not taking advantage of social media as a marketing tool at all, with most doubting a clear return on investment before they will participate online.

The Optus Business Social Media Index states that only 28 per cent of small business onwers currently use social media and of those that do they are investing on average over 6.6 hours per week maintaining their business’ online presence.

When it came to motivations not to participate in social media, more than half of SMBs not using social media believe that social networking is not appropriate for their industry, while 25 percent believe there is no clear approach to build a business case for an investment in the area. Non-users cited customer satisfaction measures (44 percent) and sales data (37 percent) as the key measures of success that might convince them to use social media in the future.

Over the next 12 months, an additional 16 percent plan to start using social media, of those 2/3 are still unsure of the benefits, but are willing to try and see what all the buzz is about and find out whether using social media for business is of any benefit.

However, when it comes to measuring success, 61 percent of SMBs active in social media cite the number of followers/friends as the key measure of success, while 82 % increasing sales through loyal or engaged customers as the primary benefit, followed by networking at 78 percent.

As for which platforms are used by small business, Facebook is the number one social media site (53%), followed by YouTube (30%), Twitter (27%) and LinkedIn (19%). Setting up a profile on a social media site is by far the most common social media activity, with 77 percent establishing a presence in this way and 68 percent actively responding to posts.

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