Two thirds of small businesses fail to capitalise on social media

Business owners aged 24 to 34 most likely to believe that social networks like Twitter and Facebook are a "waste of time"

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The majority of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises are struggling to capitalise on social media and say they are failing to benefit from marketing campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, according to new research from Deal With The Media.

The study of 1,000 business owners and managers found that nearly two-thirds (61.6%) of business owners are uncertain, disagree or strongly disagree that social media marketing has been effective for their business.

In total, 43% said that they were uncertain of the effectiveness of social media platforms, yet almost a third (30%) said that social media had been effective for their business.

Business owners aged 24 to 34 were most sceptical of the value of social media, while 18-24 year olds were the least sceptical about its impact.

The report is evidence that many small businesses do not fully understand how to use sites such as Facebook and Twitter as effective marketing tools.

Pete Walter, Deal With The Media founder, said: “At the moment social media isn’t working for the majority of small businesses. Most of the UK’s five million small businesses spend between six and 10 hours a week marketing themselves via social media, making their businesses feel modern, digital and connected to their customers.

“The unfortunate reality is most of are wasting time and money in doing so. Collectively, all that time spent tweeting and updating various sites adds up to more than one billion man-hours a year – or the combined workload of more than 520,000 full-time employees.”

Find out how to use social media effectively for your business in our guides to Twitter and Facebook.

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