Using free social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter is one of the more obvious bits of advice for businesses that want to increase their online presence. One study suggests that women are doing this more than men, but no-one is doing it enough.
A survey of 1000 Australian business owners by American Express found that 43 per cent of female small business owners were using at least one form of social media in their business, compared to 37 per cent of male small business owners. An interesting side note: just 27 per cent of the respondents had heard of Google+, which means Google has a bit of work to do.
While the gender difference is interesting, the bigger takeaway would seem to be that more than half of our local small business users aren't using social media at all. Technical challenges were often cited as an excuse not to set up a web site, but creating a Twitter account or basic Facebook page doesn't require any technical expertise at all. The difficult part of the process is ensuring you commit time to maintaining that presence; we'd suggest the old-fashioned but functional approach of assigning time on your calendar.