Sir – As the fever surrounding social media continues unabated, such as the massive publicity that accompanied Twitter’s fifth anniversary last month, it is great to see that it is not just the trendy ad-agencies in London benefiting from these new communications channels.

Local businesses are taking slow economic growth to task by using social media platforms to become more competitive and engage with customers.

In a recent poll we found that social media usage is actually higher in the South East than in London, showing just how savvy local businesses are becoming.

At least 32 per cent of businesses in the South East are using social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to communicate, provide customer service, recruit and advertise.

Social media provides businesses with invaluable market insight by giving them a direct portal to their customers’ needs. By taking full advantage of online networks, businesses can get one up on their competitors — locally and globally.

Andrew Beckhaus, Head of business markets, South East, Virgin Media Business