34 Percent of Canadian Businesses Have Used Social Media to Win New Business

By Regus, PRNE
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two out of Five Businesses Globally Report Successful new Customer acquisition Through Social Networks

DALLAS, July 7, 2010 - Social networking has become a mainstream business tool. A new global
survey commissioned by global workplace solutions provider Regus revealed
that 34 percent of Canadian businesses have successfully used social networks
to win new business, reinforcing the impact that social media has had on
corporations. However Canada lags slightly behind the global average in this
regard, with 40 percent of businesses globally having successfully leveraged
social media tools for business development.

Up to now, relatively little analysis has been available regarding the
real use businesses are making of social networking and whether true revenue
potential can be generated through this channel. To glean whether businesses
globally believe that social networking is ready to take its place among an
array of marketing tools, the Regus survey asked business leaders not only
whether they had achieved any customer wins using social networking, but also
whether they believed the channel was effective enough to be awarded its own
portion of marketing budget. Proving the faith businesses have in the social
networking medium is seen in the revelation that more than a quarter of
businesses worldwide (27 percent) have set aside a proportion of marketing
budget specifically devoted to social networking activities.

Globally, social networks are still used for their original purposes. The
most popular use of social networks is staying in touch with business
contacts, with 58 percent of respondents globally declaring they use networks
in this way. Joining special interest groups is also popular (54 percent).
Although a number of sceptics (34 percent) believe social networking will
never become a significant method of connecting to customers and prospects,
51 percent of companies globally organize, connect to or manage customer
groups via social networks. Fifty four percent of firms use social networks
to find useful business information. Surprisingly, however, only 22 percent
of respondents had found new employment through social networking, in spite
of the specific job search functions of networks such as LinkedIn.

In Canada specifically, although 28 percent of businesses have set aside
a proportion of marketing budget devoted to social networking activities,
results deviate marginally from the global average. Fifty three percent of
respondents used social networking to keep in touch with contacts, slightly
below the global average of 58 percent. Only 49 percent declared that they
used social networks to source relevant information (globally 54 percent).
Five percent fewer respondents than average (51 percent) declared that the
main usefulness of social networking in business is to organize, connect to
and manage customer groups.

Wes Lenci, Regus regional vice president for Canada, comments, "Our
global survey has revealed that social networking has finally become a
mainstream business tool. Although there is a core group of sceptics
globally, who do not believe that social networks will become a significant
method of reaching customers and prospects, a significant proportion of firms
are devoting real marketing budgets through the medium to acquire new
customers and keep existing ones.

"While the most popular function of these networks remains that of
keeping in touch with contacts, businesses are also successfully acquiring
new customers, supporting their retention efforts and interacting with
customer groups. With 33 percent of the country logged onto Facebook[1] and
more than two million Canadians on LinkedIn[2], reservations towards using
social networks professional seem misplaced. This survey indicates that
organizations who have not yet ventured into the world of social networking
may be missing out on sizeable business opportunities. This is particularly
the case in the Netherlands (48 percent), India (52 percent), Mexico (50
percent) and Spain (50 percent), where the highest level of new customer
acquisition via social networking was reported."

The survey also analyzed company size differences and found that overall
small companies were a little more likely than average to use social
networking. In Canada, 60 percent of medium and 34 percent of small companies
successfully found new customers through social networks, compared to only 15
percent of large companies. More small companies (30 percent) also actively
devote marketing budget to this activity than the global average (27
percent). Bucking the global trend encountered by the survey, employees of
larger firms were the least likely to have found employment via social
networking (15 percent) compared to small (17 percent) and medium (20
percent) firms.

On a sector basis, consultancy businesses were exactly on average, with
40 percent of respondents having found new customers through social
networking. In this sector 29 percent of companies also actively devoted a
part of their marketing budget to social networking activity and 56 percent
used social networks to find useful information. Unsurprisingly, fewer
sceptics than average were found in the consultancy sector (23 percent) than
average (34 percent).

About Regus

Regus, the world's leading global provider of innovative workplace
solutions with 1,000 locations in 450 cities and 85 countries, offers
products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional
meeting rooms, business lounges and the world's largest network of video
communication studios. For more information on Regus products and services
visit www.regus.com.

For more information and images please visit

[1] www.icenews.is/index.php/2009/02/01/denmark-and-iceland-love-social-networking/

[2] press.linkedin.com/canada

(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste
this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
space if one exists.)

    Press contacts
    Julia Gaynor
    Affect Strategies

Press contacts: Julia Gaynor, Affect Strategies, +1(212)398-9680, jgaynor at affectstrategies.com

will not be displayed