Social media goes corporate: survey

A global survey by Regus, a workplace solutions provider, indicates that social media is gaining traction in the Canadian business world; 34% report they have won new biz with it.

A few years ago, Facebook was regarded by many in corporate Canada as a productivity-sapping nuisance, distracting employees from the greater good. But oh, how times have changed, a new survey from global workplace solutions firm Regus indicates.

Thirty-four percent of Canadian businesses have won new business through social media networks, the survey found, slightly behind the global average of 40%. Furthermore, 28% of Canadian businesses have set aside dedicated marketing budget to social media; unsurprisingly, the survey also found that small and medium-sized businesses were more likely to use the medium. Sixty percent of medium-sized Canadian companies and 34 percent of small companies won new customers through social media, compared to 15% of large companies. Smaller companies were also more likely to set aside budget for social media, the survey found.

Globally, the countries with the most success in using social media to win new business or customers were the Netherlands (48%), India (52%), Mexico (50%) and Spain (50%).

The study noted that ‘keeping in touch with business contacts’ remained a popular use of social media for Canadian business people – with 53% of respondents stating that they used it for that reason – almost the same amount (51%) said that they used it to organize, connect to and manage customer groups.

Globally, 34% of respondents said that they believed social networking will never become a ‘significant method of connecting to customers and prospects.’

The Regus survey, ‘Social Success? A global survey of business social networking,’ polled over 15,000 business respondents from the Regus global contacts database, which includes over one million people worldwide. It was conducted in February and March of this year by MarketingUK.