A new study shows that – a quarter of Canadian business owners haven’t recognized the benefits of social media, and how it fits with their business prerogatives.

The Leger Marketing Survey -conducted on behalf of UPS- found it more likely that – young companies with over 500 employees, are more likely to use social media to connect with potential customers and clients. 78% of these companies stated that they often go online to network and try to grow their business “organically” this way.

However, 54% of companies run by Canadians age 50 or older, said they don’t use social media, citing a lack of technical know-how, with the inability to dedicate the time required to invest in this form of marketing and/or networking style.

For those who do interact in this social media forum, Facebook and Google+ was top of their list, with 82% of companies saying they use these online social settings often. As well, 48% reported using Twitter, and 47% utilizing YouTube.

What did they feel was their success rate? 62% said they’ve had some form of success, while 11% said they were dissatisfied with the results. Keep in mind this survey did not relay why these companies felt they were or were not successful, or the amount of time and content dedicated to their social media agenda.

The survey did note that social media is a cheap way to spread the word about new products (known as “going viral”), as well as a great way to conduct market research, and to network with other companies and associated therein. Of the 54% of businesses that use social media, they said that it costs them less than 2% of their budget.

Whether your company is large or small, whether it’s a start-up company or a long running business, social media is always something one should consider in their marketing agenda. With studies such as this slowly emerging, it allows you to better understand the payout and payoff of investing in an avenue such as this!

*This online survey was conducted May of 2012, and sampled 255 Canadian business decision-makers, such as CEOs, those in executive-level positions and senior managers.