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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 30, 2013

Reports: SMBs helped by social media, held back by aging PCs

Small businesses are among the first to rapidly adopt promising new technologies like social media. But new data indicates they may also be harmed by technology - or the lack thereof.

by Kristina Knight

First, UK-based SMBs are picking up the social media torch. According to new data out from BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor-UK 40% of UK small businesses are using Facebook while more than 20% are using either LinkedIn or Twitter. Perhaps most important, these SMBs aren't only relying on social media but are combining a social media presence with traditional mediums like newspaper or email.

Rick Ducey, managing director, BIA/Kelsey said, "In 2011, for instance, UK SMBs used more traditional media, such as classified directories, newspapers and magazines compared with SMBs in the US. Since then, UK SMBs have increased their digital media budgets, with social channels gaining in importance."

Some interesting takeaways from the report include:

• 30% are using local newspapers/magazines, down 1% from the 2011 Monitor
• 41% are using Facebook, up 6% from 2011
• Twitter use increased from 18% (2011) to 22% (2013)
• Online classifieds use has dropped from 33% (2011) to 14% (2013), Print classified usage dropped to 11%, a decrease of 20%

Meanwhile, new data out from Intel indicates some technology is holding small businesses back. Primarily, old technology. Their report finds SMBs are losing up to a week of work each year because they're using aging PCs that aren't up to the workload. The report found that workers using PCs that are 4 years old can lose about 21 hours of work while the costs to keep those old computers working is about $427.

"Upgrading to new PCs is one of the wisest choices a small business can make," said Rick Echevarria, vice president of PC Client Group and general manager of Business Client Platform Division at Intel. "PCs are largely considered the foundation for many of these companies, and this study makes a clear cut case for refreshing them on a regular basis."

According to the report about 8% of US SMBs are working with PCs 4 or more years old while only 5% of their counterparts across the globe are doing so.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: BIA/Kelsey, Intel, small business trends, SMB tips, SMB tools, social marketing, Twitter

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