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How Consumers Engage With Small Businesses on Facebook

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Most consumers say Facebook is the most useful social network for researching products and services before visiting a small business, according to a recent report from G/O Digital.

The report was based on data from survey of 1,000 adults in the United States age 18-29 who are interested in buying products and services from local/small businesses and who own at least a desktop/laptop computer and a smartphone or tablet.

Some 62% of respondents say Facebook is the most useful social network for researching small businesses before purchasing, compared with just 12% for Pinterest, 11% for Twitter, and 9% for Instagram:

Below, additional key findings from the report.


What Consumers Value

  • 41% of respondents say they care most about reading customer reviews and ratings for small businesses on Facebook; 19% care most about seeing featured products from businesses.
  • 80% of respondents say they are more likely to purchase products or services in-store if there are positive customer reviews on a company's website, mobile site, or Facebook page.

Promoted Posts vs. Offers

  • 38% of respondents say Facebook offers that can be redeemed in-store are most likely to influence them to visit the website of a small business.
  • Only 12% say promoted posts on Facebook are most likely to get them to visit the website of a small business; 10% say photo/video contents would; 11% cite sweepstakes; and 10% cite loyalty promotions.

Engagement by Business Type

  • Restaurants are the small business type that respondents are most likely to engage with on Facebook (cited by 38% of respondents)
  • Beauty/spa and education/training businesses are tied for second place (14% each).

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey conducted from June 30 to July 2, 2014 of 1,000 adults in the United States age 18-29 who are interested in buying products and services from local/small businesses and who own at least a desktop/laptop computer and a smartphone or tablet.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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