Small businesses cite Facebook Inc as best marketing tool

Social networking sites are used by many small businesses

More than one-third of the UK’s small businesses are now actively using Facebook Inc to reach new customers, more than traditional sources such as the Yellow Pages and Thomson, according to new research by technology company Basekit.

36% of UK small businesses now use the social media tool to market themselves, with just a quarter using local directories such as the Yellow Pages.

Simon Best, co-founder of BaseKit said of the research findings, "The fact that Facebook has become the number one source of new business within just a few years of its creation is remarkable.”

One in six uses Twitter to market their products and services and source new customers, as the main social networking services are proving useful to many small firms.

But there are still more than 600,000 businesses not online whatsoever, despite the research also indicating that 75% of those that have a website state it has become a critical tool to drum up new leads and to build their brand.

Best felt that businesses without a web presence were missing out on a trick, "The simple truth is that, for a small business with customers who may be under 40, if you’re not on the web then you are more-or-less invisible."