Facebook Leads Way In In-store Sales for SMBs [Study]

Compared to Twitter and Pinterest, Facebook is a more effective marketing tool for small businesses to drive offline sales in the short run, according to digital marketing firm G/O Digital.

For its newly released study on Facebook advertising, G/O Digital surveyed 1,000 U.S. users from 18 to 29 years old. It found that an impressive 62 percent of respondents consider Facebook to be the most useful social media network for researching products or services before they visit a local business, compared to Pinterest (12 percent) and Twitter (11 percent).


Additionally, 84 percent of consumers surveyed think that local deals or offers on Facebook have a great impact on their in-store purchase decisions, with 25 percent saying that “it’s very important and I would be likely to make an in-store purchase within a week.”

“The most bang-for-your-buck way for many small businesses to drive in-store activity and sales through social marketing in the short term is going to be Facebook,” Jeff Fagel, chief marketing officer (CMO) of G/O Digital, tells ClickZ. “Pinterest and Twitter should definitely have a place in their larger social marketing strategy, but will serve different purposes and support different objectives.”

A deeper look at different marketing tactics reveals that 40 percent of respondents say Facebook offers that can be redeemed at a local store are most likely to persuade them to make in-store purchases, followed by Promoted Posts (12 percent) and photos/videos (11 percent) seen on the platform.


Interestingly, although Facebook has been criticized for invading users’ privacy, the report shows that local relevance and personalization are more important than privacy concerns in weighing the value and legitimacy of Facebook advertising.

In fact, 36 percent regard “ads that are targeted based on your personal interests and past purchases” as the most likely to influence them to interact with Facebook ads from small businesses, while more than 25 percent of respondents consider “ads that are targeted based on current location” to be most influential.

“It’s all about relevancy,” Fagel says. “For example, if you offer me $2 off a hot dog at a baseball game, I won’t mind having my mobile viewing experience interrupted by this ad, because it’s solving an immediate, relevant need that I have: feeding my hunger and giving me a discount at the same time.”

You can request the full report from G/O Digital.

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