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More UK firms turn to social media

20 Jun 2011 12:45 BST Back
More UK firms turn to social media

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The last year has seen a rise in social network use among businesses. A new survey reveals that 41% of UK businesses have used social media to win new business. 

This global survey was carried out by workplace provider Regus and reveals a rise of eight percentage points from last year. According to its 2010 survey, 33% of UK firms were winning new customers through social networking activity.

The research also found that more companies are using social media to connect and engage with existing customers.

Social media is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ add on to marketing activities but a necessity. In the UK, 66% of respondents agreed that without social media their marketing activities cannot hope to be successful – globally this figure rises to 74%.

A third of UK businesses (33%) devote up to 20% of their marketing budget to social media.

However, UK firms have not abandoned traditional marketing methods. Nearly one third (61%) of respondents believe they need to keep the right balance between traditional and digital for their campaigns to be effective.

The survey’s findings are based on the responses of more than 17,000 managers and business owners in 80 different countries, including more than 4,000 in the UK.

Celia Donne, regional director at Regus says: “More and more companies are leveraging [social networking] not only to increase the loyalty of existing customers, but as a successful acquisition tool.

“As businesses emerge from the downturn they are increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies. Among these, the use of business social media is proving extremely successful and suited to the fast pace of recovery. Particularly in the UK where one in three social-network users is a fan, follower or friend of a company page or profile, firms should expect to see an increasing proportion of marketing budget being destined to this activity.”

Posted by Nicola Carpenter

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