Get social, get selling
The last year has seen half of companies in the Gulf successfully use social networks, blogs, microblogs and forums to win new business, says a new global survey from Regus.
Regus found that 50% of firms in the Gulf were successfully winning new customers through business social networking activity. The research also reveals that globally more firms are also using social media to connect and engage with existing customers than a year ago.
– Globally there has been a rise of 7% in the proportion of businesses successfully recruiting new customers through social networks such as Facebook
– 52% of businesses globally and 62% in the Gulf use websites such as Twitter and Weibo to engage, connect with and inform existing customers
– In the Gulf 59% of firms encourage their employees to join social networks such as Linkedin, Xing and Video, compared to 53% globally.
– Two fifths (39%) of companies globally and nearly a third in the Gulf (32%) devote up to 20% of their marketing budget to business social networking activity.
Social networking has fully evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity as the majority of businesses in the Gulf (69%), and internationally (74%) agree that without social media activity marketing strategies cannot hope to be successful.
Nevertheless, firms in the Gulf (82%) and global firms (61%) are also emphasizing the need for a balance of marketing media, confirming their belief that without a combination of traditional and digital techniques marketing campaigns will not work.
The global Regus survey findings are based on the responses of over 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countries.
Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus comments: “As businesses emerge from the downturn they are increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies. From supply chain management, to leaner working practices, to cloud computing, to increased use of video communications and mobile working no area of business is being overlooked. The rapid development of social media as a core business tool is clearly part of this transformation as more and more companies are leveraging this channel to increase the loyalty of existing customers, and as a successful acquisition tool.”