A MAJOR survey of Warrnambool businesses has found untapped potential for using the internet and social media for sales and marketing.
However, there is bewilderment at the scope of technological change and how it can be applied.
“We are all moving into smart phones, but because of the high pace of innovation it can be quite perplexing,” Warrnambool City Council business support manager Tanya Egan said.
“It’s very important in terms of economic provision to be able to understand and use the internet and social media.
“This means not just getting your name on Facebook, but understanding what is your market.”
The Business Survey 2012 found 63 per cent of respondents indicated the need for better understanding of the internet.
A high percentage also called for better, faster and cheaper broadband access
Fifty-six per cent of Warrnambool retail businesses did not generate sales through the internet and of the 44 per cent that did, only a small proportion said the internet represented more than 25 per cent of total sales.
Ms Egan said the issue would be addressed during the forthcoming Warrnambool regional business festival running for six weeks in August and September.
There will be seminars about social media on August 16 and 28 at TAFE while a panel of Deakin University experts will tackle the broadband issue at the Lighthouse Theatre on September 7.
“It will provide opportunity to learn about these important issues and use the potential,” she said.
The survey showed accommodation, hospitality and food/beverage services used the internet most for business with professional and commercial services also indicating a high degree of use.