The Forum of Private Business has urged small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make greater use of social media after a report revealed more than half of small business owners doubt the value of sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
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The Forum of Private Business found that 52% of SMEs are using social media but 27% of those doubted the value of the networking sites in a survey of more than 5,000 of its members.
Phil McCabe, spokesman for the forum, urged SMEs to use social networking.
"We believe social media holds a great deal of potential for many SMEs. Its conversational, real-time nature makes it ideal for entrepreneurs and small, dynamic firms, which often have much more relaxed attitudes towards public relations than big companies. Also, sites like Twitter can provide valuable and cost-free feedback on customer and client satisfaction," he said.
The research also found 19% of SMEs still lack a website with 20% of small firms only using traditional methods of communications, such as telephone, face-to-face or post for marketing campaigns.
The Forum of Private Business is running a series of seminars on how to improve business online for SMEs.