Where do young customers turn when searching for local small businesses to patronize? When it comes to social media, consumers aged 18 to 29 say Facebook is far and away the most useful social site for finding and researching small businesses.
That’s according to a survey, reported by MarketingProfs, that polled consumers who frequent local small businesses and own a computer as well as a mobile device (either a smartphone or tablet). Almost two-thirds (62 percent) say Facebook is the most useful social network for investigating local businesses before making a purchase. The other social networks lagged far behind: Just 12 percent say Pinterest is the most useful for researching businesses, 11 percent cite Twitter and 9 percent say it’s Instagram.
So what do young consumers want to see when they check out your Facebook page? About four in 10 are most interested in reading reviews and ratings of your business from other customers. Only about two in 10 want to see products your company sells.
Online reviews are such an influencer for young consumers that a whopping 80 percent admit they’re more likely to buy a product or service from a business if the company’s website or Facebook page features good reviews from other customers.
However, that’s not to say they’ll turn their noses up at discounts. Some 38 percent of respondents say a Facebook offer for a discount is the factor that would most persuade them to visit a small business website. That’s the second most effective Facebook marketing method: By comparison, just 11 percent are influenced to visit your business website by sweepstakes or contests, 10 percent by visual content like photos and videos, and 10 percent by loyalty programs.
What’s the takeaway for your business?
- Despite the hype that young people are abandoning Facebook, this survey shows they’re still relying on it to engage with brands. Don’t give up on marketing to the Millennial generation through Facebook.
- Don’t want to spend money on Facebook ads? Then don’t—it probably won’t affect your sales a whole lot. Just 12 percent of respondents say promoted posts on Facebook are the factor most influencing them to visit a small business website.
- Got a restaurant? Then you’ve really got to be on Facebook—restaurants are by far the type of business that young adults most like to interact with on Facebook. Thirty-eight percent say they follow restaurants on Facebook. Tied for second place: Beauty salons/spas and educational/training companies; 14 percent of respondents follow each type of business on Facebook.
Want more assistance growing your business online? Join the Web.com Small Business Forum for free access to our library of ebooks, the latest industry news and support from other business owners, entrepreneurs and working professionals. Join a Group to ask questions, share your opinions and grow your network! Visit Web.com to learn about our full range of affordable website design and online marketing services.
Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.