Facebook tops UK SMEs’ list of most popular social media channels

Facebook has come out top of the list of the UK’s small to medium sized businesses’ most used social media channels, according to research from Close Brothers Asset Finance. With double the number of selections, the social media giant beat Twitter and LinkedIn into second and third place. Instagram and YouTube also scored well, with Pinterest receiving the fewest votes.

Q: Which of the following social media channels does your business use to promote itself?

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Instagram
  5. YouTube
  6. Pinterest

“Businesses of all sizes are increasingly seeing the value in promoting themselves on social media and adding it to the marketing mix,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance. “It’s no longer the preserve of the larger firms and it’s getting them in front of potential customers in a way they could not before, although, unsurprisingly, the bigger the business, the more likely it is they will use social media.”

Interestingly, half of businesses polled employ someone to specifically drive their online presence, with Engineering firms (60%) leading the way, while regionally - at 71% - London firms are the most likely to hire someone to look after their social media. 

Sales from social media

Social media is proving to be an increasingly important sales channel, with 54% admitting to having made sales from it; in London this rises to 79%, well ahead of any other region. 

From a sector perspective, Recruitment (68%) and Engineering (64%) have been the most successful in generating sales from social media. 

For businesses with less than 10 employees, this falls to 32% because they simply don’t have the resources to employ someone to look after their social media efforts. 

“32% is a strong figure given the competing priorities smaller businesses have,” said Neil. “With the right level of support and experience, I expect this only to improve, especially as younger entrepreneurs enter the market.”

Q: Do you employ someone to specifically drive your online presence?

  UK average 1 - 10 11 - 60 61 - 250 Over 250
Yes 49% 21% 49% 58% 60%
No 47% 77% 47% 38% 31%
Don't Know 5% 2% 4% 4% 9%

Social media policy 

With a company’s brand key to its success, over half of businesses (54%) have implemented policies to ensure employees are aware how social media can impact the company’s brand. 


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Lightspeed survey conducted in November 2018. The survey canvassed the opinion of nearly 1,000 SME owners across the UK and RoI and across several industries on a range of issues affecting their businesses.

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