Women embrace new media

FEMALE business owners in NSW are more likely than their male counterparts to embrace online and social media networks to improve their performance, according to recent research.

The Galaxy Research study carried out for American Express showed that nearly 53% of female entrepreneurs in the State were planning to increase their focus on social media over the next 12 months, compared with 42% of male small business owners.

Women were also more likely to be using at least one form of social media in their business already (47%) compared with 44% per cent of men.

The nationwide survey of more than 1000 small business owners showed that female entrepreneurs were almost three times as likely to cite a Facebook page as the communication tool most likely to generate sales.

They were also more likely than their male counterparts to have a business Twitter account (17% compared with 15%).

While both sexes were equally aware of the importance of maintaining a company website, women were also more likely to have enabled their services or products to be purchased from the company website (47%, compared with 38% of men).

But men were more likely to invest in new technologies than women. While 30% of male small business owners intended to invest in technology in the next year, just 19% of females planned on buying the latest gadgets.

The uptake of new technology is also more prolific among men; 61% have a smartphone (compared with 43% of women) and 20% have a tablet device (16%).

"While male business owners focus on the importance of acquiring the tools with which to get connected, their female counterparts are more focused on putting these tools to work for them," said Jason Fryer, the head of Small Business Services at Amex.

"With more than 800 million active users and a range of tools designed to enhance interactive communication, sites like Facebook offer great potential for small businesses to attract and regularly communicate with customers."



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