Social media savvy small businesses most likely to grow

A survey into 'digitally native' small businesses by Research in Motion (RiM), maker of BlackBerry smartphones, revealed that more than half (53%) of entrepreneurs who use mobile social networking were looking to grow their business.

In comparison the same research found that 70% of non-social media users were focusing on austerity measures such as cash-management.

RiM said Europe's SMEs were at the forefront of a generation of "digitally-native" businesses, with technology - and specifically social media - at the heart of how they do business day-to-day. It said such firms were more likely to be growth-orientated and optimistic.

More social-media friendly businesses (18%) than non-compliant firms (10%) said they could see opportunities to win clients from larger rivals, and 67% said social media helped them get closer to customers and partners.

Rory O'Neill, VP software and services, EMEA at RIM said: "Digital services and social networking are levelling the business playing field, giving SMEs access to the same technology solutions and access to customers and partners as larger peers.

"Alongside social networking, developments in cloud computing services and mobile devices are enabling SMEs to lead the way as digitally native businesses."

He added: "Where many larger organisations are struggling to formulate a social media strategy, our research shows that many SMEs have enthusiastically adopted social networking and are using it to compete with more established competitors."

The research also found that three-quarters of all businesses considered social media part of business operations while a quarter said they were essential.

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