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SMEs acknowledge rising importance of social media

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A new report has underlined the increasing importance that social media – and Twitter, in particular – plays in driving website traffic for small businesses.

Firms throughout the UK are slowly waking up to the fact that content marketing and other forms of web-based campaigns are key to the success of their operation.

Indeed, many are increasing their marketing budgets in recognition of the fact that more and more business is being done over the internet.

Some 56 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that use Twitter say that it increases traffic to their website and, in turn, raises the chances of greater profitability.

The report, conducted by Nielsen, polled 100 small business owners, finding that 93 per cent consider the platform easy to use.

What’s more, some 79 per cent of people say that Twitter is a valuable tool for business, while 72 per cent believe the social network site to be an important part of their marketing strategy.

Some 70 per cent consider using Twitter to be a productive use of company time.

Reflecting on the report, Barry Collins, director of SMB EMEA at Twitter, said: “The research highlights how Twitter is now an everyday business tool for thousands of UK SMEs that use it for marketing, sales, and customer service, for starters. Increasingly UK businesses use it to advertise as well, following the opening of our self-serve ad platform in the UK and Ireland.”

Added to this, Nielsen found that 68 per cent of respondents expect their investment in time spent using Twitter to rise over the coming 12 months.

This comes shortly after the British Retail Consortium confirmed that a record amount of online shopping was conducted in December 2013.

There was an impressive 19.2 per cent growth in internet purchases from a year earlier, the report said.