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Suggestions For Utilizing Facebook To Build Referrals?

Asked by Marcy Schacter from Make Healthy Taste Great

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Has anyone found a great system for automating referrals through a simpleFacebook page

How-To Articles

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How To Actually Generate Customers On Professional Networks: Part 1

Asked by Julbert Abraham from AGM - LinkedIn Marketing & LinkedIn Training

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If you're wondering if you can get clients from a professional network such as LinkedIn or Alignable (or any... Read Full Answer

Data & Insights

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10 Actually Actionable Benefits Of List Building

Asked by Juan Manuel Colome from Top Response Marketing

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What is List Building all about?

List building refers to a continuous process of adding new and updated subscribers to your list.... Read Full Answer

Local Business Stories

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Celebrating Small And Locally-owned Businesses With Bill Brunelle of Independent We Stand

Asked by Alan Belniak from Alignable

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Today's special edition of the Local Business Stories by Alignable podcast highlights... Read Full Answer

Facebook Q1 Data - Local Business Marketing Trends

By Dan Slagen · Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016 · Tagged in General Discussion

It's no secret that local businesses are benefitting from Marketing on Facebook. Given the number of users, targeting capabilities and various marketing offerings, Facebook has established itself as a core part of the marketing mix for a significant number of business owners. The question we often hear from our users though, is how are people using Facebook for marketing?

We recently compiled data from an internal Facebook study, analyzing local business usage in Q1 of 2016, let's take a look!

About the data:

  • We studied over 1,200 local businesses (Alignable users) and how they use Facebook for marketing
  • Businesses included in the study are based in North America and employ under 50 people
  • Businesses analyzed include both B2B and B2C, and include multiple industries


  • The most successful reason local businesses use Facebook for marketing is to "generate awareness"
  • 50% of local businesses only use Facebook's organic "free" marketing offerings
  • 61% of local businesses paying to advertise on Facebook spend $50 or less per month
  • 63% of local businesses use Facebook primarily on desktop vs. 37% on mobile
  • 6% of local businesses are spending on Instagram paid ads
  • 38% of local businesses uploaded a video to Facebook to promote their business in Q1
  • 69% of local businesses are likely or somewhat likely to upload a video to promote their business on Facebook in Q2

In total, our study focused around six questions, here are the full details with questions and analysis of the marketing trends.

1. Rank your biggest success with Facebook last quarter:

While all six of these marketing tactics are of interest and available to local businesses on Facebook, the primary choice is clear - generating awareness. With over 1.5 billion people on Facebook, there's no better place to find and connect with your customers and target market. What's encouraging to see in these results is that while "generating awareness" is a primary benefit for local business Facebook marketing, the following four tactics are all focused on direct response, including: generating new business, user engagement, results from mobile and paid advertising.

2. What was your average monthly spend on Facebook last quarter?

It doesn't take thousands of dollars each month to see results on Facebook for local businesses. While 50% of users are currently utilizing Facebook solely for organic purposes, the other 50% are spending between $1 - $500 per month. In addition, 61% of users allocating budget to Facebook each month are spending between $1 - $50. Facebook has made it easy for local businesses to "boost posts" that perform well (or have the potential to do well) on their business page, which can make a little budget go a long way. For those business owners who aren't spending any budget on Facebook today, but are looking to test new areas of paid advertising, check out recent discussions about Facebook on Alignable.

3. Do you use Facebook primarily on mobile or desktop?

This statistic was fascinating to see, as it goes against the overall trend of Facebook usage. Last quarter, Facebook reported that over half of users were primarily using the platform on Mobile, however, the data suggests that local businesses currently prefer desktop. This highlights the opportunity for local businesses to learn more about the world of mobile, mobile optimized content, how their target market is using mobile and how to take advantage of the opportunity on Facebook. For those that prefer to remain on desktop, there is certainly still some level of opportunity, but it's important for local businesses to see all of the data, understand the differences and tradeoffs, and then make an informed decision about their marketing activity by device.

4. What was your average monthly spend on Instagram last quarter?

While the early adopters are off and running, Instagram is essentially an unexplored channel for the majority of local businesses. Since Instagram is a mobile app and local businesses prefer desktop, the data doesn't come as a surprise. As the shift to mobile continues to impact local businesses and mobile adoption increases, Instagram will become a more interesting opportunity to business owners. For those businesses that are interested in learning more about Instagram, discussions are starting to form on Alignable so ask questions and join in!

5. Did you upload a video on Facebook to promote your business last quarter?

While the majority of local businesses did not upload a video to Facebook last quarter, the data is encouraging as 38% did. Video is a newer marketing tactic for local businesses (along with mobile), so it's understandable that adoption will lag compared to the rest of the industry.

6. How likely are you to upload a video to Facebook to promote your business this quarter?

Local businesses are interested in video. Almost 70% are considering uploading a video to Facebook in Q2. The important thing for businesses interested in video on Facebook is to not only learn best practices, but learn local best practices and what to realistically expect (engagement vs. awareness vs. website visits...etc) from uploading a video. Uploading a video once is a good first step, however, consistently uploading videos in accordance with a local business video marketing strategy is the goal. For those local businesses that would like to discuss Facebook video marketing specifically for local businesses, come join the conversation on Alignable or get a discussion started of your own!


So what are the big takeaways from all of this data? To us, three things are exciting for local businesses to consider and explore:

1. Mobile, video and Instagram are still in the early days of testing for local businesses

2. Local businesses are interested in utilizing Facebook's paid ad options, and would benefit from examples and tips on direct response marketing (Alignable users love talking about Facebook marketing!)

3. There is considerable opportunity for education and dedicated programs specifically for local communities.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about the study or would like to discuss partnership opportunities, please contact [email address]

For those local businesses that haven't already, remember to signup for Alignable today!

Kristine M Smith from Kristine M Smith Copywriter
11 Locals Recommend Them • Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2016

A terrific book to read before you start using Facebook for your business is Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen. Yellow Alert: Use FB strategically in just the right way and you'll have success; use it wrong--always selling instead of informing and building "fond bonds" the vast majority of the time--("fond bonds" are the know/like/trust factors so crucial to getting people to take the next step) and you'll shoot yourself in the foot.

Another super helpful book is The New Rules of PR and Marketing by David Meerman Scott.

Both of these books should be on a... (more)

Joseph Dreiling from EaglesNest Wood and Pottery, Ltd.
8 Locals Recommend Them • Posted on Friday, April 29, 2016

Thank you for the info. Our next step looks like video so we are going to have to study this topic.

Michele Mazzeo from LuLu's Boutique
4 Locals Recommend Them • Posted on Friday, April 29, 2016

Thank u

Laura Donovan from The Word Pro, Inc.
0 Locals Recommend Them • Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016

Great info, thanks!

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Dan Slagen from Alignable
Boston, MA