One in five SMBs use social sites such as Twitter and forums to market their business and attract customers.
The findings of this year's largest UK survey of SMBs were released today in the 2009 Business Pulse Report, which was conducted by BT in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce.
Two-thirds of the 72,000 respondents said that high search engine rankings on sites like Google were very important to their business.
Meanwhile, 73 per cent said that some form of online presence is important to help improve the way their business operates.
The survey results differ from the responses received last year when social media hardly featured on small businesses' agendas, said BT.
"Ten years ago it was difficult for small businesses to compete with their larger, more established rivals," said Google head of UK operations Matt Brittin, who attended a BT roundtable to discuss the survey.
"But consumer behaviour is changing rapidly as people turn to the web to find businesses in their local area or discover businesses based elsewhere."
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