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Why SMEs are Twittering away!

00:00 on Mon, 23 Mar 2009 | Social Media | 0 Comments

Love it? Hate it? Don’t understand what all the fuss is about?

No matter what you think about the new social media phenomenon,Twitter, it is a fact that smaller businesses are quickly adopting this online medium according to new research carried out by mobile operator O2.

The study showed that of the 500 SMEs interviewed, 17% are actively using Twitter – no less than a quarter of them joining in the past few weeks.

Why? Good question indeed. Well it would appear that the recent economic situation has pushed smaller businesses towards looking for more cost-effective marketing, customer service and recruitment channels – and Twitter seems to be starting to work for them.

Digging into the detail, some surprising stats emerge. 28% of those surveyed said that staying touch with similar smaller businesses also helped boost their confidence and the research also highlighted that nearly a third of the responding companies estimated they have saved around £1,000, with one in ten claiming to have saved up to £5,000 in marketing and/or recruitment costs.??What the results are from that activity we do not know, but they seem confident enough that the medium can work for them to be continuing with it.??Interestingly, around 40% of respondents say that they are using it more than LinkedIn or Facebook, which is testament to both the simplicity and power of Twitter.

A further data breakdown shows that nearly three quarters of the companies surveyed recognised Twitter’s cost-saving and marketing advantages, 42% saw the medium to be useful as a means of staying in contact with customers and suppliers, and 34% felt they could use it monitor their competitors.

Amazingly, even the Federation of Small Businesses itself has started to tweet. ??Simon Devonshire, Head of Small Business Marketing at O2 officially commented: The way small businesses are using Twitter is a great example of how the community is embracing new technologies in order to adapt and survive in the current economic climate. The increase in small businesses using converged devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones combined with the simplicity of Twitter represents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to further raise their profiles and increase efficiency.

Further’s view of this news and of Twitter in general? We asked Rob Welsby, Senior Search Consultant at Further for his view.

“Twitter is a great communication tool for both personal and business use. It allows companies to present an approachable and human point of contact, which can be invaluable for generating new business and networking within your niche.”

“Twitter (and other online social platforms), he continues “ can be used by businesses in a huge variety of beneficial ways. From spreading latest product news to answering customer queries, increasing brand awareness by appearing as an authority in your area, monitoring your brand online or even interacting with like minded business to achieve common goals. No matter what your company does, there will be a beneficial use of Twitter if approached in the right way. Although the exact implementation will be different in each case, the common foundation is that Twitter can be a valuable and exceptionally low cost addition to your marketing activity.”


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