A survey by BT Tradespace says that small business promotion through such sites has doubled during 2008. But this still represents only 15 per cent of companies.
Worryingly, only half of all small businesses has a company website. 22 per cent of companies do no marketing at all.
Mick Hegarty, head of bttradespace.com, said businesses are ‘failing to realise the full potential of the web to help them compete and thrive in our changing world.
‘Smaller companies do much of their business through relationships and referrals, and professional networking enables them to play to their strengths, whenever they interact with customers, suppliers and business partners.’
BT will help small businesses attract new customers with a new platform called Marketplace.
Accessed through BT Tradespace, the free online community claims new ecommerce features, deeper navigation, enhanced search functionalities and richer content.
Hegarty added: ‘Social media is constantly evolving, and the launch of Marketplace demonstrates our commitment to offer businesses tools that allow them to communicate with consumers in the same way that they communicate with each other.’