Call for businesses to embrace social media following South West survey

16th February, 2009

South West businesses are missing out on cost effective marketing through online social media, according to a 2009 business survey.

The South West Business Pulse, carried out by Bodmin-based PFA Research, has revealed that only seven per cent of companies in the region are making use of social networking website such as Facebook.

While 16 per cent of businesses owners read blogs on the Internet only seven per cent publish their own.

This is despite the fact that nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of those surveyed saying that their website is very important or vital to their business.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that 29 per cent of South West businesses plan to increase Internet-based marketing activities as a low cost alternative to more traditional methods.

On a lighter note, text messaging is clearly in regular use in the work environment, with 22 per cent of businesses having had staff call in sick by SMS and 11 per cent having received a job enquiry or application in part “txt” language.

Robert Rush, managing director of PFA Research, said: “The results of the Business Pulse reveal that social media is still an emerging medium for companies in the region.

“However there are lots of opportunities for businesses to tap into innovative ways of marketing their products or services which are cheap or even free.”

Rob Edlin runs Cornwall based Niddocks Internet Marketing. He said: “We’re seeing increased interest in social media now from clients in all sectors.

“It’s still early days for most businesses as they struggle to understand how social media can help them promote their businesses without crossing the line of offending or irritating people in their personal social networks.

“Use of Facebook pages seems to be one of the ways that businesses are dipping their toe into social media as they are easy to setup, develop and maintain.

“Also, despite blogs being around for many years now there’s still only very few people who are using them to the full advantage.

“Social media really is an essential ingredient in the online marketing soup and those who get on board with it sooner than their competitors will reap the rewards earlier.”

Online marketing activity can include blogging, use of social media websites Facebook and Twitter, videos and podcasts to raise the profile of a business.

The South West Business Pulse survey was carried out in January 2009 and polled key decision makers at 170 businesses in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

To receive a free copy of the summary report of the South West Business Pulse, please email or call 01208 262000.


16 February 2008

Press release distributed on behalf of PFA Research by mpad. For more information, pictures or to arrange interviews, please contact Rachel Picken on 01872 321533,