Over 12.8 million small businesses have a Facebook page in addition to, or instead of, a company web site. Some 38% of these pages are abandoned* and recent moves to start charging small businesses for previously free promotional services may lead to an accelerated move away from the social media platform, but for now Facebook remains a very valuable source of information on small private businesses. For instance, telephone numbers and street addresses are available for 61% of corporate FB sites and over 99% of these data are accurate.**
Information Evolution recently encountered three projects where data gathered from Facebook has been critical to the success of the project. The industries in question (women’s apparel retailers, independent construction contractors, and daycare providers) all had a disproportionate number of very small businesses, which were very hard to research. Facebook, however, came to the rescue with critical contact information almost impossible to find elsewhere.
So how can your information firm leverage Facebook information on SMBs? Well, a combination of automated harvesting and managed crowdsourcing allows the following types of data appends:
Automated appends (for companies with an existing corporate URL):
- Append FB Site URLs to a company record.
- Append telephone numbers and addresses from a company’s FB site to a company record (for a company with an identified FB site URL).
Semi-automated appends (for those companies without a corporate URL):
- Append company street addresses from company FB sites.
- Append contact names and email addresses.
For larger firms there are even more appending options: “ranking” metrics can be appended (based on a FB site’s popularity); sentiment analysis can be analyzed in real-time; and sites can be compared to their peers for popularity (based on traffic and activity).
Call IEI today if you’d like to learn more about our social appending services.
* Source: TechCrunch, http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/23/facebook-small-business-ads/
** Source: Polygraph Media, 2012