Social networking sites could help companies gain a valuable insight into their customers, experts have stated.
According to the Forum of Private Business (FPB), lots of useful information can be garnered via sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Phil McCabe, media and PR manager at the group, said this could then be used to inform any future promotional activity they undertake.
However, he stressed that a hard sell approach will not necessarily go down well with consumers who follow a brand on social networking sites.
"You've got to have a conversation with them – a dialogue - not broadcast to them directly," Mr McCabe commented.
Indeed, he said using social media is a two-way process that depends on businesses listening to what customers have to say.
Mr McCabe added that businesses should not be put off using social networking sites by negative comments, as listening and responding to criticism can be important.
Posted by Rachel Wheeler