Facebook Driving Growth for Small Businesses: SurveyBy Nathan Eddy | Print
The survey found adoption of the popular social networking site as a business tool, despite challenges, is on the rise.
In a survey of small business owners recently conducted by Pagemodo, a company that specializes in making Facebook pages for businesses, 47 percent said that Facebook is driving traffic to their Websites, and 48 percent also indicated that having a Facebook page has increased their business' sales.
The Facebook for Small Business Survey, which was conducted in August and September, gathered the opinions of 1,674 small business owners about their use of Facebook and Websites. The survey also found an increase in Facebook use by small businesses. When asked if their use of Facebook would increase or decrease over the next six months, 73 percent of small business owners said that it would increase, 25.4 percent said it would stay about the same and only 1.6 percent said it would decrease.
However, a lack of time and resources remains a barrier to business use of Facebook. According to survey results, those small business owners who said they didn't have a Facebook page for business cited a lack of time (32.7 percent) or a lack of understanding as to how Facebook would benefit their business (18 percent) as the primary reasons why they are not on Facebook.
Despite the challenges small businesses face in growing their company through adoption of social media networks such as Facebook, the survey found adoption of the popular social networking site as a business tool is on the rise. Pagemodo’s survey found more than 60 percent of the small business owners surveyed who did not currently have a Facebook page for business planned to create a page within the next 12 months, and 47 percent planned to do so within the next six months or sooner.
Haroon Mokhtarzada, CEO of Webs, the parent company of Pagemodo.com, offered his comments on the importance of Facebook business pages, noting a world that is increasingly driven by social media. "There's been significant growth in Facebook for businesses over the past six months," he said. "Small business owners in particular see Facebook - and a professional Website - as easy-to-develop business tools that can capture new customers and help them interact with current ones."
A recent survey from Constant Contact also found that social media marketing has surged to be a top contender in small businesses' marketing tool kit; 73 percent of small businesses report using social media to market their business, and this appears to be a growing trend. Of those who are not currently using social media marketing, 62 percent expect to begin using social media marketing in the coming year. Further, 81 percent of those currently using social media marketing expect to increase their efforts this year.
Among social media tools, Facebook is the tool of choice for small businesses: 95 percent of those using social media marketing reported using the tool and 82 percent of those found it to be effective. Of note, in Constant Contact's October 2010 survey, only 63 percent reported that Facebook was an important tool for marketing their business, and in April 2010, only 51 percent reported the same thing.