Social enterprises are ahead of the game in using social media

Thanks to Mark Ellerby who tweeted this (or something: anyhow, he uses social media successfully)…

Interesting research just published by O2 indicates that social enterprises are far in advance of conventional SMEs in their adoption of social media as a key part of marketing, PR and profile-raising. The report says:

…social enterprises are way ahead of more traditional small and medium enterprises in embracing social media. Two thirds (67 per cent) of social enterprises use social media in the day-to-day running of their operations, compared to one in 10 traditional small businesses…  Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of those questioned believe social media use will boost their sales by 15 per cent in the coming 12 to 18 months.

Anecdotally, this is certainly something we have noticed amongst SEs in Brum. In fact, social media seems to be driving a major shift in SEs’ marketing habits. Five or six years ago, marketing was massively under-utilised in the sector. Many SEs seemed to feel that what they did was so self-evidently good that there was little if any need to market it. This is changing. Economic pressures and the need to find new customers are of course playing a huge part, but it is significant that many SEs are turning to low-cost, self-generated solutions like social media in the quest for business prospects.


  1. Martin Hogg Reply

    Great article, there is a lot of activity around social media in SE but I think it’s mainly consultants and individuals rather than businesses. At Voice 11 last week we picked up loads of enquirees from business wanting to use social media marketing more effectively. It’s one thing knowing how to ‘tweet’ it’s a whole other ball game actually making money from it. It’s easy to be busy, busy but ROI is the key.

  2. Alun Severn Reply

    Never a truer word said.

  3. Mark Ellerby Reply

    Thanks for the confidence in my social media skills, Alun!

    I have been using Social Media in Concept and my own business for a couple of years now and I have tended to find myself in a minority for most of that time. So I was a little surprised by O2 findings; although I have noticed more people using it in the last 6 months.

    I also agree with Martin that it is entrepreneurs using social media not social enterprises. This means that some social enterprises are missing out on the benefits that social media can bring. My own experience has shown that social media really does work, for example, Social Enterprise Mentor has grown in popularity, in part down to Twitter and Facebook; Concept has picked up business and PR via Twitter and my own network has grown via LinedIn.

    I noticed I posted my first comment about using social media back in August 2009, here on the BSSEC Blog – so I guess that makes me a social media semi-pro now?

    • Alun Severn Reply

      Yes, Mark…a scarred old veteran of the new media wars….

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