Why local business support is needed to support growth
Maybe* has undertaken a range of research to better understand the social media skills and capabilities of businesses set against ever-changing consumer habits. Data has been analysed on over 3.9m UK businesses, supported by surveys completed by over 2,250 businesses and consumers
Disconnect between consumers and businesses
The most crucial finding is that there is a huge disconnect between consumers and businesses, with consumers being vastly more engaged with social media than businesses. 79.1% of consumers spend over seven hours a week on social media. Meanwhile, of those businesses with social media accounts, only 29.2% are spending more than five hours a week managing their accounts or creating content. Social media drives purchasing decisions in a way that is not at all reflected in the resources the surveyed businesses put into their social media work.
The data that Maybe* holds shows that only 31% of UK businesses have social media accounts, and only 19% are active on social media. Of businesses with active social media accounts, over 90% do not post to social media at weekends, despite this being the time when most consumers are likely to be on social media and making purchases.
Our research suggests that there is both a significant opportunity and a major risk for businesses and their local economies. There is clearly significant demand for quality local provision of a wide range of products and services, but also a large gap between how local businesses communicate and where consumers go for information, advice, and to comment. There is an urgent need to upskill businesses, evidenced by 65.6% of businesses surveyed, who are keen to access support and training to help them grow their business.
Learn more about our programmes
In response to this research, we have run match-funded Local Business Support programs with a wide range of local authorities. These programmes have reached over 25,000 businesses and have proven to increase footfall, safeguard jobs and create new employment.