The agency specializing in social media, Hello Communication , has presented in PIMEC (Employer of Small and Medium Enterprises of Catalonia) the results of the study #Commerce_sm, which reveals how SMEs in the commerce sector use social networks, what strategies they carry out and how and when they perceive the return on their investment.

The study was carried out through a dynamic survey of 28 questions to more than 350 SMEs, between 1 and 50 workers, engaged in trade.

Marta Carballo, founder of Hello Communication, has highlighted the “danger of entering social networks without a strategy adapted to the online world”, because according to the study, 55% of SMEs do not achieve success due to a wrong approach to their strategy .

Also, Carballo has stressed the importance of understanding that the return on social media strategies is perceived in the medium – long term, because “what is involved is to create relationships and links with our customers, and that is not achieved in two days”. In this sense, 76% of the companies that have more than 3 years of activity 2.0 perceive a very interesting ROI, while only 26% of the companies begin to perceive it with less than 3 months of activity.

Some interesting data that reflects the study:

  • 49% of SMEs in the commerce sector are already present in social networks, and 18% of those who are not yet intend to enter during 2011. 61% of SMEs have entered during this last year in social networks.
  • 93% is present on Facebook, followed by Twitter with 50% and Linkedin with 45%. The XING professional social network would be a little behind with 16%. The network to share Youtube videos with a 37% share
  • 91% of SMEs prefer to title their profiles on social networks with the name of their company, in a corporate way, while 9% do so with value profiles.
  • SMEs in the commerce sector begin to jump into ecommerce. Currently 25% of those who are active in social networks already sell online, and 20% more intend to do so during this 2011.
  • The CEOs and workers are those who most propose the entry of the company into social networks (39% and 21% respectively). Curiously, marketing directors and communication agencies are left behind, with 19% and 8% respectively.
  • The visits to the web are the most pursued objective in the 2.0 strategies, with 37%, followed by the increase in sales, with 30%.
  • The main reasons why SMEs in the commerce sector do not enter social networks are the lack of time (34%), the fact that their clients are not in the networks (23%) and the lack of confidence that there will be a return of your investment interesting enough (22%).
  • The lack of strategy and the lack of adaptation of the same to the online world represents 54% of the failures in social networks.
  • 77% of SMEs manage their activity 2.0 internally. The other 18% rely mostly on specialized communication agencies in the online world (50%). Traditional agencies are left behind with 35%, followed by community managers freelancers (15%).
  • In any case, SMEs are willing to pay higher fees for traditional agencies, between € 300 and € 1000 per month, than for agencies 2.0, between € 100 and € 500 per month.
  • The investment in time of SMEs in social networks is low, 48% spend less than 1 hour a day.

For his part, Bruno de Jesus, project manager of Hello Communication has highlighted the importance of the professionalization of the sector “there is still a long way to go in the 2.0 strategies”.

The study was prepared by Hello Comunicación and has had the collaboration of Netquest, as a technological partner; La Salle; PIMEC, employers of micro, small and medium-sized companies in Catalonia; and the trade sector associations ACOTEX and COCEM.

The presentation of the study has had an interesting round table in which the results have been commented, and that has counted with the participation of companies in the sector: Ferran Güell, Corporate Director at Privalia, Jaume Gomà, founder of Ulabox and David López , Marketing Director of Ecomm-marketing.