British Small Businesses Confused About Facebook Marketing Success

August 3, 2012

contantcontact-british-small-biz-facebook-engagement-august2012.pngRoughly one-quarter of British small business decision-makers say they use Facebook for marketing purposes, but this group displays some misperceptions about the realities of their successes using the channel, according to survey results released in August 2012 by Constant Contact UK. 32% of those using Facebook say they don’t know how to engage with fans on Facebook, yet 59% are using Facebook to post updates about products and services on their timeline, and 42% are engaging with fans by responding to posts on their timeline. Even so, only a fraction are engaging in other methods of engagement, including asking people to like their page to get vouchers and offers (15%), answering customer service issues (14%), and conducting polls or asking questions (9%). This last method is particularly low, given recent research from WaveMetrix showing that asking the right questions can significantly boost Facebook engagement. Also, with survey results showing that 1 in 2 UK youth report having contacted a brand through social media, the 14% figure regarding answering of customer service issues appears low.

SMBs Underestimate Their Success

Data from Constant Contact’s survey indicates that British small businesses are also holding some misconceptions about the success of their engagement efforts. 23% believe that success means getting more than 500 shares, comments, or likes on a single post, which is more than the larger brands in the WaveMetrix case studies were getting (see link above). In fact, of the respondents who know how many shares, likes, or comments their posts are attracting, 52% say they generate up to 10 per post.

Only 1 in 5 Confident in Efforts, But Many Get Tangible Results

Other survey results indicate that just 21% of these Facebook-using small business decision-makers believe they are doing a great job marketing their business on Facebook. At the same time, one-third say they have added up to 25 new fans in the past 6 months, 31% report having seen value in spreading the word about special offers or new products, 22% have found new customers, and 12% credit their Facebook marketing with generating repeat sales.

Other Findings:

  • About two-thirds of the small businesses using Facebook say they don’t use any analytics, due to a lack of time, understanding, or other reasons. Of the 26% measuring results, 40% are on the hunt for better ways to do so.
  • 49% of this group do not integrate their Facebook activities with their email marketing. The leading ways in which they do integrate the channels are: including share buttons within emails (21% of those using Facebook); linking to Facebook content (19%); asking email newsletter subscribers to like them on Facebook (13%); asking Facebook fans to sign up for email newsletters and vice versa (11%); and using a sign-up or “join my mailing list” form on Facebook to collect email addresses (6%).

About the Data: The Constant Contact UK survey was conducted by YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 1009 small business (1 to 49 employees) senior decision-makers. Fieldwork was undertaken between July 2 and July 6. The survey was carried out online.

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