May 16, 2011 10.07 am This story is over 154 months old

Survey: Lincoln firms don’t use social media

Social strangers: Businesses are not using social media enough in Lincoln, despite large business growth in the city.

Photo: Owners of Marketing Flair, Cecilia and Chris Hall

Despite Lincoln being the UK’s fastest growing city for business, concerns are rising about small businesses utilising every marketing strategy available to them.

Royal Mail’s Business Barometer claims that there is a 2.08% improvement in the number of firms trading and around 8,000 businesses in the city.

However, local company Marketing Flair produced a study, finding that may businesses did not make use of online marketing.

Speaking to 130 businesses in the lower High Street, 56 had no website and only 23 used social media (e.g Twitter, Facebook) to interact with customers.

Marketing Flair’s Chris Hall said: “Both newly established and other businesses need to plan ahead and use simple marketing and business management tactics.

“This is particularly true for those which are determined to survive their first three years in business in today’s highly-competitive market and slippery economy.

“In our opinion, not having a website or engaging in social media, means ignoring a huge audience that is searching online for local and national products and services.”

Cecilia Hall added: “We find that one barrier that gets in the way is the word “marketing”.

“Many businesses fear tapping into this sort of expertise is going to cost them a fortune.

“They don’t always understand that marketing services can mean anything from undertaking a small, one-off research project for a client to providing ongoing monthly support.”

Not representative

However, some businesses interviewed feel that the survey if not entirely representative.

Paul Howard-Jones of PC Automotive said: “I had a website but I had to close it down. It was bringing in so much business that I couldn’t handle it, including the sort of work I didn’t want.

“It meant I would have had to have taken on more staff and that was not what I wanted.”

Hazel Smith, who owns Jesters Fancy Dress said: “Shops are closing down and there is no money around.

“We have been in business for eight years and we have had to go through recession.

“Now big road works are in progress, which is badly affecting my business. They promised to start these in January when business is quiet.

“Just when business is picking up for the Summer they have started them and I am worried.”

Source: Marketing Flair | Related Report: Lincolnshire Echo

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