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Facebook tops UK SMEs’ list of most popular social media channels

Facebook came out top of the list of the UK’s small to medium sized businesses’ most used social media channels, according to research from Close Brothers Asset Finance.

With double the number of selections, the social media giant beat Twitter and LinkedIn into second and third place. Instagram and YouTube also scored well, but Pinterest receive limited

  • Facebook twice as popular as the next social media channel
  • 54% of SMEs have made sales via social media
  • 49% employ someone to specifically drive their online presence

Q: Which of the following social media channels does your business use to promote itself?

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Instagram
  5. YouTube
  6. Pinterest

“Businesses of all sizes are increasingly seeing the value in promoting themselves on social media and adding it to the marketing mix,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance.

“It’s no longer the preserve of the larger businesses and it’s getting them in front of potential customers in a way they could not before, although, unsurprisingly, the bigger the business, the more likely it is they will use social media.”

Interestingly, half of businesses polled employ someone to specifically drive their online presence, with Engineering firms (60%) leading the way, while at 71%, London firms are the most likely to hire someone.

Sales from social media

Social media is proving to be an increasingly important sales channel, with 54% of those polled having made sales from it, although in London this rises to 79%, well ahead of any other region.

From a sector perspective, Recruitment (68%) and Engineering (64%) have been the most successful in generating sales from social media.

For businesses with less than 10 employees, this falls to 32% because they simply don’t have the resources to employ someone to look after their social media efforts.

“32% is a strong figure given the competing priorities smaller businesses have,” said Neil. “With the right level of support and experience, I expect this only to improve, especially as younger entrepreneurs enter the market.”


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Lightspeed survey conducted in November 2018. The survey canvassed the opinion of nearly 1,000 SME owners across the UK and RoI and across several industries on a range of issues affecting their businesses.