Based on statistics from various studies, small companies still have a long way to go before they fully harness the power of social media marketing to promote their businesses. According to a study by CPA Australia, more than half of small businesses in New Zealand have no presence on social media. This means that they are failing to engage with their customers and are stifling any possibilities for future growth.
Even worse was another study that discovered that over half of small and business enterprises in New Zealand did not have any web presence at all. According to accounting software provider MYOB, a survey they conducted of more than a thousand SMEs found that only 41% of those surveyed had a business website. In addition, less than 25% of those surveyed maintained a social media presence.
Oddly enough, however, regional SMEs were better at using social media than their urban counterparts. According to a study from directory company Yellow and Colmar Burton, 65% of SMEs from Southland used social media, while only 40% of those in Auckland and 30% in Christchurch did so. Similarly, over 50% of companies in Hawke’s Bay used email marketing.
There were a number of reasons cited as to why many firms did not make the leap into going online, ranging from not having enough time to devote to developing their company site to the lack of knowledge about web development. However, it is seen as important that SMEs go online and engage in social media marketing on sites like Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Businesses that did so enjoyed benefits such as an increase in leads which could be converted to paying customers, more sales that led to higher profits and an improved company image, as well as being better able to connect with their customers.