Social media set to boom amongst SMEs in 2012

More businesses than ever are expected to engage with social media next year.

According to new research from the Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking, nearly nine out of ten businesses will invest more in social media during the coming 12 months.

In total, 87% of companies with a turnover of at least £25m said that they saw social media as a cost-effective communications tool. More than a third (38%) said that social media improved their commercial or reputational standing.

Senior executives who were questioned for the research also said that they were using tablets more than ever before. Nearly half of them (47%) said that they use tablets on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, 25% of organisations who had increased their social media spend in the last year said that it had resulted in a positive impact for their brand. Nearly 40% of organisations who are planning to increase their social media spend for next year say that they are doing so just to keep up with industry trends and competitor activity.

John Dixon, head of technology, media and telecoms from Royal Bank of Scotland CIB, said: “UK businesses clearly understand the importance of social media.

“It is an effective and cost-effective tool, and its increased popularity comes at a time of increased pressures on marketing. The challenge is for firms to maximise their investments beyond 2012.”