STUDY: Facebook Is the Dominant Social Network for Marketing by SMBs

Small and midsized businesses: Ignore Facebook at your own peril, according to new research from Gannett digital marketing company G/O Digital.

GODigitalStudyBannerSmall and midsized businesses: Ignore Facebook at your own peril, according to new research from Gannett digital marketing company G/O Digital.

G/O Digital surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook users and found it to be a marketing force, with 73 percent citing it as the most important social media platform where they expected to find local businesses, dominating over Twitter (3 percent), LinkedIn (2 percent) and Instagram (less than 1 percent).

Other findings by G/O Digital included:

  • 51 percent of respondents said discounts or incentives on Facebook pages were most likely to motivate them to click through to brands’ websites or mobile sites.
  • 54 percent said discounted offers would motivate them to call and/or book appointments.
  • 34 percent preferred to have Facebook ads targeted to them based on their interests, while 13 percent chose location.
  • 19 percent of respondents want to see information from SMBs in their News Feeds at least once per week.
  • The three types of content that were most likely to drive Facebook users to stores were promotions and coupons (60 percent), testimonials and success stories (13 percent) and photos and videos (6 percent).
  • 21 percent of respondents said they were “more likely to regularly check out products, prices and sales from the business — both online and in-store,” after interacting with Facebook pages.
  • 14 percent were more likely to seek out those businesses while shopping online.
  • 58 percent of respondents expected to hear back from businesses within one day after contacting them on Facebook, while that number was 42 percent for Twitter.

G/O Digital vice president of strategy and business development Raghav Mathur said in a release announcing the findings:

It’s clear that a tectonic shift is taking place in the marketing and advertising industry, whereby social media carries just as much influence over purchase intent, if not more, than other forms of marketing such as SEO (search-engine optimization), PPC (pay per click) and mobile marketing, for small and midsized businesses.

The road to success on Facebook is not an easy one and requires a well-thought-out plan that balances both quality content and targeted advertising. That’s why building a strategy grounded in a customer-centric approach and long-term ROI (return on investment) — not a singular campaign — is key in positioning businesses to grow, compete and thrive, year after year.

Readers: What did you think of G/O Digital’s findings?