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Firms ‘using social media to win business’

Dubai, July 4, 2011

The last year has seen half of companies in the Gulf successfully use social networks, blogs, micro blogs and forums to win new business, said a new survey.

Fifty per cent of firms in the Gulf were successfully winning new customers through business social networking activity, added the new global survey from Regus, a leading provider of workplace solutions.

The research also reveals that globally more firms are also using social media to connect and engage with existing customers than a year ago.

Globally there has been a rise of 7 per cent in the proportion of businesses successfully recruiting new customers through social networks such as Facebook, said the survey.

Fifty-two per cent of businesses globally and 62 per cent in the Gulf use websites such as Twitter and Weibo to engage, connect with and inform existing customers.

In the Gulf, 59 per cent of firms encourage their employees to join social networks such as Linkedin, Xing and Video, compared to 53 per cent globally, the survey said.

Two fifths (39 per cent) of companies globally and nearly a third in the Gulf (32 per cent) devote up to 20 per cent of their marketing budget to business social networking activity.

Social networking has fully evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity as the majority of businesses in the Gulf (69 per cent), and internationally (74 per cent) agree that without social media activity marketing strategies cannot hope to be successful.

Nevertheless, firms in the Gulf (82 per cent) and global firms (61 per cent) are also emphasizing the need for a balance of marketing media, confirming their belief that without a combination of traditional and digital techniques marketing campaigns will not work, according to the survey.

The global Regus survey findings are based on the responses of over 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countries.

“As businesses emerge from the downturn they are increasingly reconsidering pre-recession working practices and opting for more flexible, competitive strategies,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus.

“From supply chain management, to leaner working practices, to cloud computing, to increased use of video communications and mobile working no area of business is being overlooked. The rapid development of social media as a core business tool is clearly part of this transformation as more and more companies are leveraging this channel to increase the loyalty of existing customers, and as a successful acquisition tool,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Survey | Mideast firms | Social media | Regus |

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