I read with interest recently an industry article that suggested the gap between online-savvy small businesses and those which are online-cautious is widening. The article indicated both sales growth for the past 12 months and future projected sales growth was proportionately higher for on line savvy businesses than it was for those without an online presence. Almost 50% of SME's that use cloud technology (online shop/outlet) reported increased sales or work, whilst 40% of SME's with a website and social media presence reported similar growth. This contrasts to only 25% of businesses without some form of online presence reporting growth in sales or work.

The proportion of businesses willing to jump into the online arena continues to grow at some pace. The proportion of businesses with a website has increased 4% to 42% over the past 6 months with a similar increase in businesses using social media.

Interestingly females lead the charge in an online presence amongst business owners with 9% more female owners more likely to have invested in the resource than their male counterparts.

Certainly social media (Facebook, Twitter etc) has a very active role in online advertising and ultimately sales growth.  I am a strong advocate of businesses finding a way to embrace the trend if they wish to grow or even maintain their market share. It is interesting to see how different businesses face this challenge in recent times in particular the increase in sponsored celebrity postings. More and more businesses are turning to celebrities with large social media followings to promote their products and services. The question in my mind is how much further can product advertising - both direct and indirect- go on social media outlets before consumers numbed by information overload and disconnect or seek new social media platforms?