facebook logoThe Telegraph is reporting that a study from Regus shows that businesses in the UK are turning to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to get more business.

In 2010, 33 per cent of companies were successfully winning new customers through social networking activity. A year later the amount has risen to 41 per cent.

Off-line social networking such as business networking meetings and breakfasts have long been a way to meet potential new clients or get referrals, and now in a simplified form the on-line equivalent is taking place. Companies are starting to flex their social networking skills to interact with potential customers and increase their brand awareness. This can range from dedicated teams in the larger companies like network operators, or simply having your existing sales team brush up on their internet skills.

Like face to face meetings however, being pushy and full of sales speak won’t win you customers. The right level of social interaction provides information that is of genuine interest to all, mixed with the right level of self promotion. often offering free advice or consultations will help gain you acceptance and followers on-line.

Celia Donne, regional director at Regus, said: “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.