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Recent statistics show that almost two thirds of Australians are on Facebook, yet according to the 2014 Yellow Social Media Report, only 36 per cent of small businesses have a social media presence.

Despite investing their time in using social media to promote their business, almost three in 10 have no strategy to drive traffic to their sites.

In response to this gap, online training website, Digital Ready, has released a free guide for small business owners on how to use social media to their advantage. The free guide called 'Social Media for Business – a beginner's guide' was developed with small businesses, not for profit organisations and clubs in mind to help them better understand the ins and outs of social media and how they can use it to grow their business.

"The statistics show that a significant number of small businesses aren't taking advantage of social media to promote their business," says Digital Ready Project Manager, Alan Howard. "Those who are using social media need to have a solid strategy in place to help build a strong online presence and that's what our guide aims to help them achieve."

Through four chapters, the guide covers why businesses need a social media presence, the main social media platforms, how businesses can start building social media profiles and social media marketing.

"The pace at which social media is moving is quite remarkable, and we're concerned that many small business owners aren't keeping up. We released this guide to help them to better understand how they can use social media platforms to their advantage."

Digital Ready is an initiative of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and helps small businesses to get online. The training course focuses on businesses in the arts, recreation and education sectors, but it can be used by any small business or small to medium enterprise. It was officially launched at ACCAN's National Conference in September 2014. It is funded through the Australian Government's Digital Business Kits Program.

For more information contact the Digital Ready team on 02 9288 4000.