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Is Facebook Use Among Local Businesses Slowing In Growth?

by | Oct 24, 2018 | BIA, Blog, SAM

Emarketer recently reported that more than half of all Americans use Facebook and that has increased only by 0.9% since last year according to their estimates. The growth is primarily driven by the older demographic (boomers, Gen Xers and millennials) with younger demographic leaving Facebook. So are local businesses also shifting away from Facebook to other digital media in their advertising and promotion strategies?

The answer is no. We know, thanks to our SAM™ Survey,  that local businesses use on average 8 paid or free media channels to promote their businesses. In the survey alone we track over 40 different media that are most commonly used by local businesses and we have been tracking their usage for over 20 years. We have watched the growth of Facebook page usage among small businesses. It now stands among small businesses at around 36% (a slight drop from last year at 45%) and for larger local businesses at 44%. We reported last year that businesses are using other ad products on Facebook and that usage is growing. This year results from the survey show that targeted social media ads are at the top in usage at 61% of all local businesses.  Another area of growth in Facebook usage is among small businesses as 40% of small businesses are bypassing conventional websites and are using Facebook pages as a replacement. This is good news for local media sellers as the top digital channel businesses purchase through a local (TV, agency, newspaper, radio) salesperson is social media marketing.

If you are a media seller in local, always ask and offer to target their ideal customer with social media advertising — ads, geofilters, video are key products according to our survey.  For technology companies, social media management — creating content is outsourced by lots of local businesses and a managed service offer or content library can be an additional revenue stream. Small businesses spend anywhere from $1,000-$10,000 and larger businesses spending upward of $30,000+ a year alone on content and messaging.

The survey data is available through BIA’s local advertising dashboard, BIA ADVantage and is offered in a searchable, downloadable format. Insights and analytical reports from the survey are also provided. Additional information about BIA’s SAM study can be found here.