Companies increasingly using social networks to win customers

More than two fifths (41%) of UK companies are using social networking sites to win new business, according to a study.

The number of companies in the UK using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to attract new customers has risen by 8 percentage points, up from 33%, in the last year, claims office solutions company Regus.

Businesses in the UK are now devoting a third of their marketing budgets towards social networking campaigns.

About half of all businesses in the UK and globally actively encourage their employees to join online professional networks such as LinkedIn.

Globally, the number of businesses recruiting new customers via social networks has increased 7%, with 52% of companies worldwide using the channel to engage with their audiences.

There has been debate in the industry over the merits of social media and whether it truly is accountable for the success of campaigns.

Celia Donne, regional director at Regus, says: “As businesses emerge from the downturn they are increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies.”

The findings were based on a survey completed by more than 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countires, including 4,000 respondents in the UK.

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