An article, which was recently posted on the Web Pro News website, caught my eye with some interesting statistics. The article focused around data which was collated by MerchantCircle (an online network of local business owners within the US), which seemed to suggest that around 70% of business owners are already actively marketing their business through Facebook.
You'd have to have been living under a rock not to appreciate just how important Facebook is these days. It, along with heavyweights such as Google and Twitter, is helping shape the future of the web through product innovation and growth. And, whilst we're continuously promoting the use of Facebook and Twitter as social/engagement channels to our clients, I was initially rather surprised that 70% of small businesses are already actively marketing through Facebook.
Not that many businesses have Facebook profiles
Having analysed the data, I'm now a little less impressed with the statistics. Firstly, the data only relates to the US, where you would expect Facebook to be marketed in a more comprehensive way than in the UK. The fact is, I think that as a nation, we're still not fully aware of all the advertising options available to us via the social network.
The second point to make is that MerchantCircle is an online network of local business owners. It does not consider all local businesses - just those within it's online network. As these business owners are part of an online network, you'd expect them to understand the benefits which Facebook, as an advertising channel, offers. It would be interesting to find out the percentage of all local businesses which have a Facebook presence rather than just those which we know are already online. 70% always seemed a little high, and it's now clear why.
How many UK small businesses are actively using Facebook as a marketing channel?
I would be rather surprised if even 30% of UK small businesses had taken their marketing efforts onto Facebook - which is why it's important for small businesses to embrace this channel and get ahead of the game!