Survey: 35 Percent of Small Biz Owners Don’t Find Value on Facebook

Filed in Social Media, Statistics by Matt McGee on September 17, 2012 8 Comments

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.

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Matt:

    The results of this survey make total sense based on the conversations I’ve had with my clients. They all assume they have to be “social” so they go to the one social channel they are familiar with – Facebook. However, they have no clue what to do with their Facebook page or how to be “social” effectively so they flounder.

    What businesses first have to realize is that Facebook may not be the right channel to begin with. They may discover their ideal customers are mostly found on Twitter. Second, like anything else, they need to have a plan of attack!

    Travis Van Slooten

  2. Are there any surveys you know of that compare facebook business generation compared to other social media platforms? It seems Facebook is a better source for some companies because they really work at it, monitoring, advertising, etc. to get the traffic flow.

    • Matt McGee says:

      John – yes, I think I’ve written about some data like that. You might browse through the Social Media and/or Statistics categories here. (Look for the dropdown in the right column below the ad.)

  3. Robinsh says:

    I also think that Facebook is a complex situation when it comes to market your product or services through it because it’s users are still not defined well for marketing being small business running on low budget for promotions.

  4. Kent says:

    I think should be more than that. A lot of business owners never find any value from Facebook. I am definitely one of them. But I do find a lot of value on Linkedin. I connected with top authors, working with them. Know a venture capitalist.

    Work with people from America, Swiss, Mexico, etc.

  5. Martin Ward says:

    Agree with Kent – we have persisted with Facebook but struggled to make it work for us, whereas with Linkedin we are getting good results. Interstingly we also get better results B2B from our Twitter activity. Learning every day with this stuff !

  6. Chris says:

    Facebook should provide a better interface and innovative features for business trying to market themselves through social media.

  7. Anna Bennett says:

    I think the numbers are probably higher than that. Small business are not equipped with the right social media training – they don’t have the time to learn (there’s a lot to know!) and can’t afford to pay someone to do it for them – whether it’s an employee or outside source. An average cost to hire a Social Media Strategist is probably around $500/month to manage one or two social media platforms. In addition the business owner has to provide the content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *