Social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter boost the bottom line of social enterprise companies by over £200,000 (€226,818) research by O2 shows.
Just over two-thirds of the 500 social enterprises surveyed use social media sites compared to one in ten traditional small businesses, and 64% of the new firms predict social networks will boost their sales by 15% in the next 12 to 18 months.
Media sites already add £212,000 to the bottom line of social enterprises – firms that rank social and environmental goals as highly as financial objectives -, the study shows.
Simon Devonshire, BT’s general manager for small and medium enterprises, explains that social media is an attractive option for start-up social enterprise firms, because they tend to lack the customer, partner and supplier networks of larger businesses.
“[T]he extent to which social media is fuelling growth is truly striking – it is becoming an indispensible part of such businesses’ growth plans, helping them promote products and services, build their brands, and develop ideas and innovations,” Devonshire states.
Facebook and LinkedIn are used by 91% of the firms surveyed, with Twitter utilized by 70%. O2 notes the channels are popular due to low – or non existent – usage costs.