Online sales were worth £164bn in 2012, equal to 6% of business turnover

PR and marketing are the most common reasons that UK businesses use social media, according to statistics released by the ONS.

The new Ecommerce and ICT Activity Report, which includes annual data from 2012, also shows that website sales totalled £164bn, representing 6% of total UK business turnover in 2012.

Looking at the use of social, the data shows that a third of companies (33%) that use social do so to develop the business’ image or to market products. 

A further 23% use social to respond to customer opinions, reviews or questions, while 12% use it to involve customers in the development or innovation of goods or services.

‘Digital divide’ shrinks by 300,000 in UK

Nearly 300,000 people in the UK went online for the first time during Q3 of 2011, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

This takes the total number of adults who have been online at least once to 41.6m, equating to over 83% of the population.