By Marcus Leach

Despite having access to a wealth of social media channels, only one per cent of UK small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) use the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter to generate new business prospects, according to research published today (Thursday).

The study, by TalkTalk Business, was conducted to see how much SMEs embrace social media and gain from its business benefits.

Firms in Norwich (44 per cent) view social media as the most important channel of business communication, whilst those in Edinburgh and Glasgow regard it as the least important, with only nine per cent respectively viewing it as integral.

A surprising 43 per cent of UK SMEs are not confident using social media, with the North East (69 per cent) the most confident and South West (39 per cent) the least comfortable. The following top five provides a social media business barometer by highlighting which cities are most confident using the different channels:

Newcastle — 69%
Manchester — 63%
London — 62%
Belfast — 60%
Birmingham — 59%

Least confident:

Bristol — 39%
Edinburgh and Nottingham - 46%
Sheffield — 47%
Liverpool and Dublin — 50%
Glasgow 56%

“Social media can prove invaluable as a new business tool and so it’s worrying to see that so few SMEs are embracing it. Its business benefits range from being able to engage and understand the needs of customers and prospects through to gaining insights into target markets and perceptions of your organisation or brand," Paul Lawton, managing director of TalkTalk Business, commented.

“There’s certainly scope for more SMEs to be educated on how social media channels can be applied to business and be harnessed to benefit the bottom line.”

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness