A recent survey by Regus reveals that 47% of businesses successfully used social networks for customer acquisition in 2011, a 7% increase over 2010. The US was slightly behind this average, with 43%. Out of all the countries studied, China saw the greatest change in successful customer acquisition, rising from 44% in 2010 to 65% in 2011.
Other countries leading in using social networking successfully include:
- India at 61%
- Netherlands 57%
- Mexico 55%
- Spain at 53%
The survey included countries in both developed and developing markets, and eMarketer concludes that social networks made the biggest impact for companies that were operating in developed markets. In developed markets – especially in the Netherlands, Canada, and the UK – a higher percentage of companies that used social networking saw revenue increases over the past year vs. companies that did not use social networking for customer acquisition. Companies in developing markets saw revenue increases regardless of social networking use.
Some other highlights from the survey:
- More companies are actively devoting marketing budget to social networking – 34% do so now, up from 27% a year ago
- More than half of businesses (52%) use social networks to interact with and inform customers (this number has stayed relatively stable since last year)
- 44% of businesses globally believe that customers are reaching out to them via social networks
- 74% of businesses agree to that social networking is essential for success
- However, 61% of businesses believe single channel social media campaigns will not be successful unless other media are also involved
Data comes from a survey of over 17,000 senior managers and business owners in 80 countries, from the Regus database of over 1 million contacts.