Although some surveys suggest that Facebook has become the primary way that many small businesses invest in their online presence, there’s still plenty of data out there that suggests Facebook is a mixed bag when it comes to measuring success.
Manta just released the results of a survey it did in August of 614 U.S. small business owners, and although Facebook is a popular online channel, almost as many don’t see value in it as do.
A total of 35 percent said either a) they have a presence but don’t find value on Facebook, or b) they stopped using it because there was no value. That’s almost as many as the 42 percent who say they do use Facebook and find it valuable.
Elsewhere in the survey, 10 percent of SMB owners cited Facebook as the biggest driver of business — second behind “company website” at 24 percent. There are, of course, other surveys that show contrasting stats — that’s par for the course when it comes to small business (and really any) surveys.
One thing that’s not really up for debate is how many small business owners are using Facebook. Just a couple months ago, Facebook revealed that 11 million businesses are using Facebook Pages. That’s more than have claimed a Google local listing, and it doesn’t include business owners that are using Facebook for business via their personal accounts … sometimes successfully.
One other non-Facebook-specific stat from the Manta survey: 78 percent of all respondents say they gained at least a quarter of their customers via online channels this year. The survey was conducted online, so presumably there were very few respondents who don’t have a website or other online presences.