Female business owners are more likely to embrace social media networks to improve their business performance than their male counterparts.

Research by American Express shows 43 per cent of female entrepreneurs are using at least one form of social media in their business, compared to 37 per cent of male small business owners.

Women are also planning to increase their focus on social media over the next 12 months (48 per cent). In contrast, male business owners are more likely to invest in staff and training than they are in social media in the next year.

The nationwide survey of more than 1,000 small business owners shows that female entrepreneurs are twice as likely to cite a Facebook page as the communication tool most likely to generate sales. They are also more likely than their male counterparts to have a business twitter account (15 per cent compared to 10 per cent).

Jason Fryer, head of small business services at American Express said: “While male business owners focus on the importance of acquiring the tools with which to get connected, their female counterparts are more focused on putting these tools to work for them.”

The findings coincide with the launch of American Express’ Facebook page for small businesses. The platform will enable small business owners to interact and share their experiences of running a business. It will also provide information on the latest small business developments and allow users to ask questions and to connect with other small business owners.

“With over 800 million active users and a range of tools designed to enhance interactive communication, sites like Facebook offer great potential for small businesses to attract and regularly communicate with customers,” Fryer said.

“In response to this, we are launching a Facebook page designed specifically for Australian small business owners. This page will educate through practical case studies and tips, highlight new business practices, connect small business owners online and bring them together offline.”