An increasing number of British companies are using social media platforms in order to draw in a wealth of new business, recent figures have shown.
According to the poll, conducted by business service provider Regus, 41 per cent of UK businesses have successfully acquired new customers through their social media activity in 2011, up from 33 per cent the previous year.
The poll questioned around 17,000 managers and business owners from over 80 countries across the world, including the UK, about their use of social media and social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The results of the poll show that, as well as using social media as a tool for attracting new custom, 52 per cent of global businesses are also making use of social networking sites to engage with their existing customer base.
Around two fifths of businesses in the UK devote up to 20 per cent of their company’s marketing budget to managing social media activities, while half of British firms actively encourage their workforce to join business-orientated social networking sites such as LinkedIn.
Regus regional director Celia Donne said of the figures: "Business social networking has finally come into its own in the commercial world. More and more companies are leveraging the channel not only to increase the loyalty of existing customers, but as a successful acquisition tool."
Donne also noted that the increase in social media activity may also be down to UK businesses re-evaluating their existing operation practices as the economy continues to recover from the recession.
"The use of business social media is proving extremely successful and suited to the fast pace of recovery. Particularly in the UK, firms should expect to see an increasing proportion of marketing budget being destined for this activity."