Palma de Majorca.—The figures emerged yesterday at a Communications and Social Media conference being held at the technology centre at ParcBit in Palma.

The organisers, Telefonica, who were keen to show the importance to Balearic businesses of being competitive, detailed that 97.9 percent of regional businesses are linked to the internet and 29.3 percent of them have an on-line purchase facility.

Telefonica claimed that these figures were 15 points above the national average, pointing out that companies which used Social Media have the edge over their competitors in terms of income and profit. Telefonica maintained that 90 percent of customers consult the network before buying a product.

Social networking, said the company has begun to play a very important part in business and for that reason, 56 percent of small to medium-sized businesses in Spain incorporate sites such as Facebook and Twitter in their publicity strategies.

Research carried out by the Banesto banking foundation into the use of social networking in business has revealed that in the Balearic Islands, 55 percent of this sector of small to medium-sized firms have a presence in social networking.

These new publicity and marketing strategies are prompting new forms of relationships between companies and clients, said Banesto. Increasingly, traders are marking the difference between themselves and their competitors through this highly individualised relationship. As such, social networking on the internet has become an indispensible tool. Antonio Bengoa, a Public Relations Director for Telefonica said that new technology and its use by the public is impacting directly on business and is providing fresh opportunities for productivity and competitivity.

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