Small business owners comparing the environment today versus that of five years ago feel that the rise of Facebook and other social networks has been both a plus and a minus, making running their businesses more complicated, but offering them easier, inexpensive ways to market, according to a survey released Monday by engagement marketing firm Constant Contact.
Facebook continued its efforts to become the go-to destination for information on local businesses with its launch of the business object type in Open Graph, aimed at bringing more accurate data to News Feed, Graph Search, check-ins, and pages.
Local businesses are thriving on Facebook, according to statistics released Friday by Dan Levy, director of small business at the social network, who said more than 2 billion connections exist on Facebook between users and local businesses, adding that approximately 70 percent of monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada are connected to local businesses.
Social gifting, which is becoming wildly popular on Facebook, has largely been conducted through gift cards and major retailers. Boomerang wants to make social gifting a local experience. The Chicago-based program is expanding to New York, Indianapolis, and Austin, Texas, offering small businesses and local retailers a chance to get in on the social gifting fun.
Small businesses on Facebook are gearing up for the 2012 holiday shopping season, with nearly one-half expecting sales to increased compared with last year, nearly one-half planning some sort of promotion on Facebook, and most that have advertised on the social network expecting to do so again, according to a new study by Facebook commerce provider Payvment.
Facebook was the platform of choice for small businesses looking to use free offerings from social networks to promote their goods and services, but when it came to paying for promotion via social media, the result was quite the opposite, according to an email survey of 3,434 MerchantCircle member merchants, conducted by Reply.
Thanks to a partnership between Facebook and American Express, five small businesses earned $25,000 and social media help as part of the Big Break For Small Businesses contest. Casale Jewelers of Staten Island, N.Y.; Hendrick Boards of Orange County, Calif.; Dick Pond Athletics of Chicago; The Produce Box of Raleigh, N.C.; and Dutch Monkey Doughnuts of Cumming, Ga., were the lucky winners.
Facebook has been unveiling more options for companies to advertise through the social media site. However, Reuters reports today that many businesses have been eschewing paid options to do what they can to promote their biz for free.
Have you seen a Facebook post for a cash mob? We haven’t, but by the sounds of it, we sure would like to.