by karen on May 24, 2011

According to the latest Experian figures published on April’s web usage, You Tube is the UK’s fastest growing social media network for the second consecutive month, now accounting for around 20% of UK internet visits. Whilst Facebook remains the most popular, its share of visits declined slightly to around 54%. Twitter, in third place, is currently running at just under 3% of visits, although this figure might be expected to increase from April, with the current Tweeting explosion relating to high profile celebrity gagging orders.

Small businesses add social media

A new survey by Constant Contact has found that more and more small businesses are using social media to spead the word about their services and products.

When asked “what keeps them up at night,” 80% of the respondents said attracting new customers; 52% said finding better ways to encourage customers to refer their business; and 48% said not having adequate cash flow to run their businesses effectively.

To address those issues, a greater number of small businesses are adding social media to their marketing plans. Of the businesses surveyed, 73% are currently using social media as a form of marketing, and among that group, 80% reported that their usage of social media marketing has increased in the past 12 months. Of the 27% not already using social media for marketing purposes, 62% said they will be using it at some point in the next year.

Facebook was mentioned most by respondents, with 95% saying they use it and 82% saying they find it to be an effective tool. Twitter and LinkedIn were second, with 60% citing Twitter and 58% LinkedIn. Video sharing tools such as YouTube were mentioned by 45%, with 73% of this group finding video sharing to be effective for business use.

What’s important to note, though, is that social media is being used to ‘fan the flames’ and not necessarily as a replacement for other types of marketing, such as email, website, and event marketing. However, whilst 72% said they check their business email six times or more each day; only 13% said they check Facebook that frequently, potentially missing out on vital opportunities to engage with their customers…

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