Social media strategies uncommon but effective for SMEs who have one

Does your business have a social media strategy?

 

  • A third of SMEs have a social media strategy in place
  • Less than 1 in 4 see the commercial value of social media
  • 56% with a social media strategy have successfully used it to generate sales

The majority of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises are not using social media to drive sales, despite some using it successfully, new research from Close Brothers Asset Finance reveals. 

The latest quarterly Close Brothers Asset Finance Business Barometer (965 respondents) shows that only 32% of SMEs in the UK have a social media strategy in place, and this is not likely to change soon because only 37% of those surveyed answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘do you see the commercial value of social media in your business?’.

“Monetising social media is undeniably difficult,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance. “And the truth is it takes a large level of effort that most SMEs aren’t able to resource or afford.

At 47%, London-based firms are most likely to have a social media strategy in place when compared to other regions, followed by Yorkshire/Humberside (40%).  

Q: Does your business have a social media strategy in place?

 

Yes

No

Unsure

UK

32%

52%

16%

Greater London

47%

40%

13%

Yorkshire/Humberside

40%

47%

13%

South West England

37%

47%

16%

South East England

31%

57%

12%

Northern Ireland

30%

54%

16%

East Midlands

30%

49%

21%

North West England

30%

56%

14%

North East England

29%

55%

16%

Scotland

28%

59%

13%

East Anglia

28%

53%

19%

Wales

28%

60%

13%

West Midlands

21%

57%

23%

…and yet

Of the 309 firms who do have a strategy in place, 83% are using social media to actively promote their business and products, with 56% having generated sales via social media. 

“In every sector we surveyed businesses have generated sales, which goes some way to proving that if you have the right approach it can be a valuable sales tool,” said Neil. “And it’s not only limited to the larger firms either, with 45% of businesses with a turnover of under £250k successfully generating sales using social media, compared to 42% generating revenue over £10m.” 

Q: Has your business generated sales via social media?

 

 

 

Company size

 

UK Average

1 - 10

11 - 60

61 - 250

Over 251

Yes

56%

55%

61%

77%

39%

No

29%

28%

35%

12%

38%

Don't know

15%

17%

4%

11%

23%

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