How Social Media Tools Benefit Small Businesses

Small businesses are a cornerstone of the American economy, contributing $6 trillion in economic output and employing 85 million Americans. Technology and social media tools in particular play a critical role to empower small businesses to better reach consumers, market their products, and grow their business. To gain a stronger understanding the scope of how small businesses use social media tools, the U.S. Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) and Facebook partnered with Ipsos, a global market and opinion research firm, to conduct a survey of almost 4,000 owners and employees of small businesses in the United States.

Key Findings

  • Facebook is a popular platform that small businesses use for a variety of reasons:  Of small businesses surveyed, 44% report that they use Facebook to support their business.
  • When asked about hiring needs, 76% of businesses in our survey say that being proficient in the latest online tools and apps is important for some, if not many or all, jobs.
  • Facebook products are considered by a majority of small businesses to be important to their success—these include Instagram (57% of surveyed businesses consider it to be “important” or “very important”), Facebook Messenger (54%), WhatsApp (53%), and Facebook (52%).
  • Facebook and Instagram are so critical to business operations and growth that over half of small businesses surveyed have a dedicated person managing their Instagram account and almost half have someone managing their Facebook account.
  • Of small businesses in our survey, 74% report that discovering new customers is a top or high priority, and that Facebook is a key tool used to achieve that goal: 73% say that they are using Facebook to market or promote themselves to potential new customers.
  • Facebook is helping drive sales for businesses: 22% of surveyed businesses say that Facebook has helped them achieve higher sales.
  • For small businesses that export, they are seeing higher domestic and international sales because of Facebook products, at an increase of over 20% domestically and nearly 20% internationally.
  • 24% of small businesses in our survey agree that Facebook’s products and services are driving business creation in the U.S.