Millions of small businesses are using Facebook but only half are spending any marketing dollars there.
New data from Alignable shows that half of the small businesses it surveyed — among more than 1,200 of its users — spent $0 last quarter on their Facebook marketing efforts.
Rather than spend money, small businesses are more inclined to use Facebook’s free organic marketing tools to promote their companies and brands.
Of course, if half of the small businesses that Alignable surveyed don’t spend a dime on Facebook marketing, that means half do.
But they’re not spending too much.
Digging a little deeper into Alignable’s data shows that most of the companies that do spend money on Facebook marketing spend less than $50. According to the numbers, a total of 31 percent of Alignable users in the survey spent between $1-50 on Facebook marketing last quarter.
Ten percent of Alignable small business users spent between $51-150. Another five percent spent between $151-300. Two percent spent more than $500 and one percent spent between $301-500.
Alignable small business users don’t seem too keen on using their hard earned money to advertise with other popular social platforms, for that matter. For example, 94 percent say they didn’t spend that proverbial dime on Instagram, either.
Alignable’s data pool included more than 1,200 of its small business owners. They were all located in North America and included both B2B and B2C companies. All the companies included for the company’s report employ less than 50 people. Companies were asked how much they spent on Facebook marketing tools during the first quarter of 2016, among a total of six questions.
The main reason small businesses are on Facebook is for brand or company awareness. And that’s where Alignable users said they found the best success on the social site.
The same small businesses also said they were relatively successful at generating new business and increasing user engagement on Facebook.
So, what does this information tell small businesses?
First, promoting your business on Facebook doesn’t really take much money at all. And small businesses — at least those interviewed by Alignable — seem to find Facebook’s organic reach quite sufficent.
Second, 81 percent of these small businesses spend less than $50 a quarter on Facebook marketing. So if you’re not satisfied with the results you’re getting from the free tools on the site, a small investment is all that’s required to see better results.
Chart: Small Business Trends