Use of social media by businesses still low, says report
June 11 2016 11:33 PM

Business establishments in Qatar using social media networks to reach their consumers is “still low” compared to those using their own website, a report by the Ministry of Transport and Communications shows. 
The increase in use of social media among consumers has made it necessary for business establishments to engage with consumers via such channels as well.
Significant numbers of the business establishments in Qatar are quite active across various social media platforms. 
Although the percentage of business establishments using social media networks to reach their consumers is still low compared to those using their own website, the percentage has increased from 3% in 2010 to 12% in 2015, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said in its report ‘Qatar’s ICT Landscape 2016: Business.”
A higher percentage of business establishments with 50 or more employees exploit the opportunities offered by social media networks compared to their smaller counterparts.
Among the social networks used by the business establishments, Facebook (used by 87% of enterprises with a social media presence) is the most-used channel, followed by LinkedIn (39%) and Twitter (20%). 
About one-third of all business establishments using social networks in Qatar are reported to be using more than one social platform for promoting their products and services or for providing customer service and support.
The trend toward online presence among business establishments is increasing in Qatar, though some barriers still remain. 
Among the business establishments with no web presence, 79% felt no need, 12% said they lack in-house expertise, 7% cited lack of time, 5% cited budgetary constraints, and lack of technical help (from external service providers) was cited by 4%.
The report noted much progress could be observed in terms of increased online activities, including use of online marketing and customer support, e-banking, social media, and 
e-government services. 
In particular, the Internet activities that have shown a great deal of growth at business establishments include marketing products and services online, increasing from 27% in 2012 to 42% in 2015; and providing online customer service, with an increase from 15% to 36% during the same period. 
In addition, at least half of the business establishments using the Internet reported being satisfied with the speed and reliability of Internet services. Business establishments were least satisfied with the cost of IT products and services (31% of respondents were satisfied), the availability of desired telecom services (33% satisfied), and the cost of Internet services (38% satisfied). 
Business establishments identified key areas where government support is expected in the future including improvement of ICT infrastructure, cited by 54%, and development of ICT 
skills (37%.)
The report identifies e-commerce as a major area of potential growth in Qatar. Overall, about 12% percent of business establishments surveyed reported receiving and 8% reported placing 
orders over the Internet. 
“As the survey results indicated, businesses continue to use the traditional methods of doing business. The 73% of businesses not receiving orders over the Internet cited the industry norm of taking physical orders as the biggest barrier,” the report said.

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