So now we know. According to a survey by the Federation of Private Businesses reported recently in the Telegraph, 52 percent of small firms surveyed believe that social media is of no use to their businesses.

Oh dear.

Of course there’s a bit of deliberate provocation here (as already pointed out by one commenter to the site, 48% therefore think social media is valuable…and we’d guess that no “I don’t know” option was offered). That aside, we’ve all met a few business owners  who feel that way.

Writing off a whole communications channel just at the time when starting to use it could pay real dividends in the future, seems like rather an overreaction to us!

So, what’s going on here? The survey respondants can’t all be daft. The same report suggests that one in five of them don’t even have a website, so they must have exceptional skills in something to be staying in business at all…

We’ve all experienced that feeling of “there might be something to this – but I’m up to my ears already”. It seems to us that this might just be behind some of those negative responses. Almost every day there’s a new story about social media, and for many people, that translates into feeling irritated, harassed, threatened, confused and downright fed up with hearing about “that bl**dy Twitter” and the like.

Here’s what we’d say to those people – well, right after “calm down, and don’t write this off until you’ve thought about it properly”!

Social media is a communications channel. Nothing more, nothing less. What you make of it is down to the type of business you own, and the communications skills at your disposal. To write social media off in its entirety as “useless” makes about as much sense as saying “oh yes, telephones – waste of time” or “printed word – i’ll have no truck with that in my line of work”. There will be some circumstances where those ways of communicating are less crucial, sure – but we’re very much doubting that there are *any* where there’s no potential for using those “technologies” to help a business to grow, or work more efficiently.

The next thing we’d say is – check out our upcoming blog posts, where we’re going to take a no-hype look at some of the key uses of social media for businesses.