Social media is everywhere at the moment, pick up a newspaper and you’re likely to flick through a range of stories on the subject, news such as Facebook’s billion dollar flotation debacle filling column inches in the broadsheets or the latest Twitter faux pas of an A-lister proving perfect tabloid fodder for the redtops. It’s a struggle to get away from it, even if you don’t care much for the medium. Trending on Twitter or achieving a million or so Facebook “Likes” means that you’re in the public zeitgeist (for good or bad), showcasing you to millions, potentially billions globally.
To put the worth of these social platforms into context it’s worth taking a glance at the statistics. Twitter attracts 10 million active users in the UK alone. A figure placing it fourth behind the US, Brazil and Japan. Facebook attracts three times that figure, statistics pointing to just over 30 UK million users. They’re astonishing numbers, reflecting the growing prominence social media plays in our lives.
Benefits of Social Media
To newcomers it may be a world that’s a struggle to grasp, once you’ve developed an understanding though, it can bring enumerable benefits to your limited company. Freelancing body the PCG, which prides itself as being the ‘voice of freelancing’ urges contractors to view social media as a ‘crucial tool’ in the sourcing of new business. Pointing to figures gathered by Executives Online they suggest that 17 per cent of contractors have found jobs via social media, an increase of 14 per cent since 2010.
LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals provides the most valuable source of business, they suggest. Home to millions of professionals from a variety of industries, the PCG view it as the best place to secure business contacts and potential clients.
As part of the survey, Executives Online asked freelancers about the benefits of Twitter, concluding that it was not as useful as LinkedIn when it came to picking up new business. Many noted that it provides a useful source of news however, with up-to-date information regarding the latest views of major players and companies, helping them to keep their finger on the pulse of their respective industries.
Largely, the benefit social media can bring to your limited company depends on the nature of your business. Freelance, tech savvy types will probably benefit more from an active Twitter presence than a local plumber, but that’s not to say it can’t be of any use to such a company.
With social media growth showing little sign of abating, the staggering audience gathered by Facebook and Twitter and the research by Executives Online demonstrates the increasing usage of social media by the public and businesses alike , it’s foolish not to have some sort of social media presence.
Nadine Ryan writes about different subjects such as weight loss, holiday cottages and Crunch accounting. For more information about Crunch visit http://www.crunch.co.uk/