Small businesses bemoan Facebook advertising system

SMEs express dissatisfaction with Facebook advertising, as many struggle to see their visibility turn into profit.

Social network Facebook may well be able to increase visibility for small businesses, but many are struggling to see that visibility turn into profit, according to new research from website building platform Weebly.

The firm finds that more than half of small businesses don’t spend any money on Facebook ads and of those that do, 62 per cent are dissatisfied, feeling that their money is not being well spent and do not think ads are reaching their target audience. Following this, 87 per cent say that they don’t even use the ‘buy’ button.

Additionally, 54 per cent report they think it seems Facebook wants small businesses to spend money on ads to stay on their platform and 42 per cent are starting to question whether Facebook is helping them grow or not. Perhaps most tellingly, 15 per cent say Facebook is definitely not on the same team as small businesses.

Facebook offers a pay-per-click system for companies to advertise new promotional offers and events to a wide, selected audience through the social platform.

Dave Rusenko, CEO of Weebly, thinks that it’s clear that Facebook has some work to do winning back the trust of small business owners, who several years ago, used to rely on their platform to grow their customer base.

Rusenko adds, ‘We hear from small business owners that it really comes down to lack of control – small businesses can’t see the bottom line benefit of their activity, which means they don’t trust the results. Instead, small businesses want control over their online activities like a full ecommerce store, site branding and their email marketing.

‘It’s telling that 14 per cent of those we spoke to said that social networks were a starting point, but that they outgrew it. It simply doesn’t offer the freedom and flexibility that a company’s own website does.’

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