After much encouragement from the vendor community, resellers in the communications channel are beginning to take up social media platforms in their businesses in large numbers, according to research conducted by UC specialists Mitel.
Mitel found that 82% of its dealers were now using forms of social media as a business tool, with business-centric platform LinkedIn and micro-blogging site Twitter seeing the highest levels of interest among resellers, with 62% and 45% using them respectively.
Over 50% of respondents said they now believed that social media interaction was good for growing brand awareness, with close to a third saying it was a cost-effective means of promoting their firms.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, businesspeople also used LinkedIn extensively for personal leisure, suggesting that the barrier between personal and business life is becoming increasingly blurred.
"People need the flexibility to merge their communications tools from business to personal use and vice versa," said Mitel marketing director Andy Elliot. "It is particularly interesting to see this culture reflected in our channel partners."
Ricky Nicol, chief executive at voice and data comms outfit Comms World, said that although his firm was relatively new to social media, "it gives our customers flexibility on the ways they like to communicate with us and allows us to build trust, awareness and open up discussions with new prospects".