Every Small and Medium-sized business has a Social Media account, right? Well maybe but…

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In the 2018 SIINDA Landscape study, we looked at almost 400,000 SMEs across eight countries to see how many linked their website to their social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and the results were quite eye-opening.

The table below shows that on average, only 25% of the businesses studied linked to at least one social profile.  The expectation going into the study was that the results would have been easily over 50% because it’s 2019 and surely everyone has at least a Facebook page and how hard it is to put the link on the website?

Germany is conspicuous because it ranks last of all the countries in the study while Ireland and Malta are significantly above the average score.  When digging into the sector data, we found, as expected, that Hospitality averaged 19% higher and Trades averaged 8% lower. Given the importance of Facebook and Instagram to the Hospitality sector, this is more in-line with expectations. In the Hospitality sector, Germany scored a more respectable 39% but still behind the Pan European average of 44%.

What is especially surprising about Germany is that a study in 2017 by bitkom showed nearly 68% of German SMEs actively used social media, but our research shows they are not leveraging any synergies between their website and social media accounts.

So Why is Linking to Social Media Important?

There are three main reasons to link a business website and social media accounts:

  1. Potential clients will look to social media to find the most up-to-date information on a business as they perceive it as more dynamic than a website.

When making purchasing decisions, social media is an important resource in the buying process as consumers are attempting to gather as much information in the shortest amount of time.  Social media is valuable for reviews, user comments and more and users are comfortable in accessing that information, especially on mobile devices.

  1. Site visitors who don’t convert may follow you on social media giving the business more chances to convert them later.

Not everyone visiting a business website will convert into a customer.  By allowing visitors to follow social media accounts, the possibility exists to influence them in the future and potentially turn them into a customer.

  1. Direct engagement opportunities increase via comments on posts, Direct Messages or chat services.

While a potential customer may send an email or call when on a website, it is becoming much more common for people to use social media as a primary contact point, by posting a comment, sending a direct message or using chat services like Facebook Messenger.

By not linking social media accounts to a website, businesses are missing a trick to extend their reach and improve their chances of conversion of potential customers.

BONUS: Most Popular Social Media Channels for SMEs

It’s no surprise that Facebook leads the way and Instagram second at about 50% of Facebook penetration.  Twitter is only popular with businesses in Ireland, with Malta the only other country to register in double digit linkage.  The high linkage in Ireland may be related to the use of English but it is hard to explain the low penetration of Facebook in Germany.


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