Nearly 40% of Scottish small businesses get no return at all from their presence on social network website Facebook, it is claimed in a survey out today.
The Scotsman reports that research by Glasgow Caledonian University and IT firm NSDesign found a quarter of the firms that use Twitter don't find the website useful and 35% of those with blogs say they don't give returns.
Their findings will be presented at the opening of the Edinburgh International Technology Festival at Our Dynamic Earth.
Gary Ennis, founder and managing director of Glasgow-based NSDesign, told The Scotsman: "It seems crazy that 40 per cent of small firms keep using Facebook even though they don't find it useful. You wouldn't do that in any other area of your business.
"I think a lot of them say 'Let's do Facebook because everyone else is doing Facebook' - it's the latest fad and maybe some of them are seduced into doing it by their public relations and marketing advisers."
Ennis, added that Facebook - and other forms of social media - wouldn't suit every business but that they could be very powerful tools for some companies.
While he was impressed that 80% of business said they had a clearly-stated objective for using social media, Ennis expressed concern that only 65% were bothering to measure their returns.
The next step for the research is to interview respondents and calculate the financial benefits - or otherwise - of using social media websites.