Small businesses in the West Midlands are increasingly using social media to get their message across but many firms doubt the value of doing so, according to a new survey.
The study by the Forum of Private Businesses discovered that 53 per cent of its members have tried websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
But more than half of those (31 per cent of the total sample) said they didn’t think the popular networking sites added any value to their businesses.
And 10 per cent described social networking as “useless”.
Only three per cent of those who took part in the survey described social media as very useful for their businesses.
Just under half of Forum members said that they either only utilise social media for personal use or do not use it at all.
The results are in line with similar studies across the country, which indicate widespread cynicism among businesses about the benefits of using social media to promote their firms.
Forum of Private Businesses spokesman Phil McCabe said: “Our research shows that smaller businesses are very willing to try new things and experiment with social media.
“However, it’s clear that sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter don’t work for every firm in the region. This is probably because social media isn’t suited to every single type of business and industry sector.
“We also believe that social media has also got to be used in the right way in order to produce tangible returns for small firms – like anything else, it takes time and effort to get right, and does require a certain amount of resources in order to be effective.”