There’s been a lot of speculation since Facebook dropped the bomb that Cambridge Analytica gathered information on 87 million users, particularly about the loyalty of people and small businesses to Facebook’s monolithic social media platform. Now that the dust has settled a bit, the true impact is finally being measured and it’s relatively insignificant.
The Manifest recently conducted a survey of 351 small business owners and managers at companies from across the U.S. with fewer than 500 employees to learn about the social media climate in small businesses. According to their findings, 92% of small businesses plan to invest more time and money into social media in 2018.
Of those interested in increasing their investment in social media, 58% want to spend more money on Facebook. Why? Because Facebook is the most popular social media platform by a long shot—with over 1.45 billion people worldwide logging on every day.
“Facebook’s usership may dip slightly because individuals will choose not to use the platform after news of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica situation, but the platform still remains a key player in building relationships with customers,” says Charlotte Chipperfield, CEO of social media agency Chipperfield Media.
Reinforcing the notion that Facebook will remain at the forefront of business advertising, the company is estimated to generate $21.57 billion in US ad revenues in 2018, accounting for 83% of the total social media ad spend throughout the nation.
Businesses are making internal changes to jump on board the growing trend of social media marketing by hiring in-house social media staff (53%), using social media engagement software (33%), outsourcing to freelancers and consultants (33%), and utilizing the services of digital and social marketing agencies (24%). These changes reflect a growing acceptance in business of the importance of social media to a successful marketing strategy.
“More companies see the importance of social media, so more are starting to invest in it,” said Shawn Alain, president of social media agency Viral in Nature. “That number will keep going up.” And up and up because social media is not only the future of marketing, it’s also the present of marketing, and will be for years to come.