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Australian SMEs predict social media

Looking at online business networking and social media trends over the next three years. Findings show 58% of Australian SMEs predict social media will be one of the best ways to find new customers; whilst only 12% say they will use traditional advertising. The research surveyed 16,000 businesses world-wide.

I thought the findings might be of interest for a story on the top business tools for finding new customers, and the increasing value of online platforms in the business marketing mix.

Business marketing  and social media

Other key findings show:

· In Australia, 78% of SMEs believe face-to-face networking will be key to recruiting customers over the next three years, compared to 76% of large businesses.

· Globally, business social media networks are expected to see a big boost –  with 57% of businesses seeing this as an essential element in customer engagement strategies.

The research also ties in with the Regus launch of BusinessLink, a personalised online trading portal for Regus customers world-wide.

A full media release is below. Happy to send through more information on BusinessLink and the tabular findings.

The research also analysed the key tools companies use for new business generation, and found:

· 59% of SMEs in Australia will be using social media over the next two to three years (up from 42% from the past three), in comparison to 58% of larger businesses (up from 45%).

· 58% of Australian firms believe online advertising is one of the top channels to find new customers in the next three years, up from 45% in the previous three.

· Attending trade exhibitions (31%) and public speaking at key events (44%) are also regarded as significant tools for future customer recruitment in Australia.

· In Australia, 78% of small businesses believe that face-to-face networking will be key to recruiting customers over the next three years, compared to 76% of large businesses.

· In Australia, traditional advertising (13%), direct mail (15%) and telemarketing (13%) are all in decline.

· Only 12% of small businesses predict they will use traditional advertising in the next three years.

· Globally, business social media networks will see the biggest boost, with 57% of businesses seeing them as essential tools in future (compared to 42% over the past).

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