The last year has seen a rise in U.S. companies using social networks to win new business, reveals a new survey from Regus, the global provider of flexible workplace solutions. According to the survey, 43 percent of firms are successfully using social networking to win new customers, up eight percentage points from last year’s survey.
Social networking has fully evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity with businesses in the U.S. Businesses agree that social media activity is playing a bigger role in their marketing strategy. U.S. firms are also emphasizing the need for a balance of marketing media, confirming their belief that without a combination of traditional and digital techniques, marketing campaigns will not work.
The research also reveals more firms are using social media to engage with existing customers than a year ago, with the following highlights:
- 50 percent of businesses in the U.S. use websites such as Twitter to connect and engage inform existing customers;
- In the U.S., 55 percent of firms encourage their employees to join social networks such as LinkedIn and Xing;
- 38 percent of U.S. companies dedicate up to 20 percent of their marketing budget to business social networking activity;
- Globally, the survey reported a seven percent increase in the proportion of businesses successfully recruiting new customers through social networks such as Facebook;
- The global Regus survey findings are based on the responses of more than 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countries.
“From supply chain management, to leaner working practices, to cloud computing, to increased use of video communications and mobile working – no area of business is being overlooked, “Sande Golgart, regional vice president for Regus, comments.
Golgart also referred to MerchantCircle February 2011 report stating “more than 70 percent of small businesses are promoting their business on Facebook, more and more companies are leveraging this channel to increase the loyalty of existing customers and as a successful acquisition tools.”