Nearly half of companies in Birmingham are using social networking to win new business – well ahead of the UK average – according to new research.
The increasing popularity of the likes of Twitter and Facebook as marketing tools emerged from a new survey by global workspace providers Regus.
The survey shows that nearly half (46 per cent) of firms in Birmingham are successfully winning new customers through social networking activity, compared to an average of 41 per cent across the UK.
The research also reveals that a far greater proportion of Birmingham-based firms are using social media to connect and engage with existing customers (53 per cent compared to 48 per cent).
The research says: “Birmingham firms are shown to have a more forward-thinking attitude in many key areas of social media.
“Fifty-four per cent of local firms encourage their employees to join business networks (compared to exactly half across the UK), and 42 per cent are actively devoting marketing budget to business social networking activity (compared to the national average of a third).
“Overall, the report demonstrates that social networking has fully evolved from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a necessity, with three-quarters of businesses in the city (75 per cent) and two-thirds across the UK (66 per cent) agreeing that without social media activity their marketing initiatives cannot hope to be successful.
“Nevertheless, firms 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 (64 per cent locally and 61 per cent nationally).
Greg Lunn, regional director at Regus, said: “Business social networking has finally come into its own in the commercial world.
“And it seems firms in Birmingham are ahead of the UK average in many areas.
“More and more companies are leveraging the channel not only to increase the loyalty of existing customers, but as a successful acquisition tool.”