Up to a fifth of small businesses are still “cautious” about social media and believe the benefits of using it are “overrated”, according to a straw poll conducted by Palamedes PR.
Nearly 20 per cent of start-ups and SME respondents believe platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are not worthwhile in driving sales.
They fear the time required to create and update such platforms will “outweigh any benefits or added value” they might bring.
A survey of 400 British businesses by Palamedes PR also found that brands with an existing social media presence are failing to manage them effectively.
Two-thirds of small businesses admitted they spent less than three hours-a-week doing so. Lack of available manpower and customer demands were largely to blame.
Conversely, almost all of those polled agreed that Linkedin was a “credible and worthwhile” platform for B2B commerce and sales – including those without a Linkedin account.
A spokesman for Palamedes PR, which conducted the straw poll last month, said the figures appear to reflect a “missed the boat mentality” among some small businesses.
“Our survey was far from an in-depth study, but it does appear to suggest that a significant proportion of small businesses do not trust, or do not rate, the reach and power of social media,” he said.
“A large number of recipients were unable to invest time into creating and updating a social media profile because of their company’s size. But others were still very cautious about it and believe it is an overrated method of promotion and engagement.
“Either way, the results of this straw poll clearly show somewhat of a missed the boat mentality; businesses which have failed to introduce social media are loathe to do so now – perhaps because they will believe they will already be so far behind”.