Small Business Suck At ThisWritten by Michael Levanduski
August 7, 2012 # 12:52 pm # Marketing Insights, Specials # 3 Comments
Facebook has, in the past proven to be a very valuable tool for consumer engagement as the platform is so easily functional and Facebook traffic is quite enormous. That’s why any small business that exists now will create a page on Facebook, as to keep connected with their customers. However, according to a survey conducted by the online marketing tools provider Constant Contact, Inc. in Britain, small businesses have a totally different idea of how well Facebook is working for engagement purposes from what is the reality. Apparently small businesses were on the verge of giving up on Facebook, but they simply didn’t know what engagement marketing was or how it worked until this survey was released.
So, according to the study, 37 percent of those small business owners that use Facebook don’t see any way that the network has helped their businesses and only 21 percent of those asked were actually impressed with the things that they got from the site. However in their report of this survey, Constant Contact writes, “The data reveals several misconceptions that help to explain these attitudes, and shows that small businesses are actually doing a better job than they think.” The reason these small businesses aren’t impressed with their Facebook engagement performance is because they have no idea how to measure it, let alone how they’ve done it to begin with.
The funny thing is, without really knowing what they were doing, most of these businesses were implementing engagement tactics on accident. With 59 percent of those asked using Facebook for posting updates about products and services on their Timelines and 42 percent engaging with fans by responding to posts on their Timelines, businesses knew they were putting their company name out on the web, but were unaware of the value of engagement marketing. Still, though, 15 percent of the businesses asked used Facebook to offer vouchers and offers in exchange for likes, 14 percent for answer customer service problems, and 9 percent for conducting polls.
What really surprised these small businesses is the size of the package that engagement success arrived in. About 23 percent of those asked believed that in order to achieve engagement success, they needed at least 500 shares on any one post. Now, we know that’s not true, especially for smaller businesses with smaller customer bases. Regardless, though, 22 percent of respondents in the survey credited Facebook with attracting customers for their businesses and 12 percent say the network created repeat customers.
Constant Contact, Inc. believes that the reason for small businesses being disappointed with results is that they don’t have the proper methods of measuring their success. They are only unsatisfied because they are missing a lot of information that is valuable to measuring success. In their article, Constant Contact lists a few ways to see better results with Facebook and other social networks for those that are measuring results and are still unsatisfied. Small businesses would be happier with the benefits of their Facebook efforts if they were to simply pay better attention to the results.