REGIONAL Queensland small and medium businesses are failing to capture new market opportunities available through social media, according to new research released by Telstra.
A survey of more than 1000 small and medium businesses (SMBs) shows only 29% of business in regional and rural Queensland have embraced social media and are seeing real benefits from online activities.
Most SMBs believe social media is neither helpful nor a hindrance. A further 11% believe social media is actually damaging to success.
The research reveals 77% of businesses nationally believe the internet is the most beneficial technology for their business, followed by online software.
The top three technology services used by SMBs nationwide to reduce business costs are online invoicing tools and payment options (33%), mobile broadband (30%) and remote desktop applications (29%).
Area general manager Sunshine and Capricornia Coasts, Nigel Beaman said with 62% of adults worldwide now using social media, SMBs ignoring this powerful tool were missing out on a significant business opportunity.
"In a digital age where smartphones and tablets are used on a daily basis, we know customers expect a company to have a social media presence," he said.
"Many successful Australian businesses are having a meaningful two-way conversation with customers online."