African-American- and Hispanic-owned small businesses get the most benefit out of Facebook, a new study concludes, even as the company’s recent changes to News Feed seem likely to make it harder for such operations to drum up customers.
According to a study published today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Morning Consult, and Facebook, more than 60% of small enterprises say they use Facebook as a “tool for business,” and of all those, 32% said they built their business on the platform.
But the numbers are much higher for African-American- and Hispanic-owned operations, with 63% and 65%, respectively, saying they’d built their businesses on Facebook. Of those, 69% of African-American small-business owners said they’d hired employees based on business growth since they joined the platform; 71% said they’d increased sales since being on Facebook; and 70% said they used the platform to sell outside their local area. For Hispanic small business owners, those numbers were 80%, 78%, and 78%, and for all small businesses, 42%, 56%, and 52%.
Yet even as this study touts Facebook’s positive impact on small businesses, and in particular minority-owned operations, there are those who fear the social networking giant’s recent major changes to how it operates News Feed, which are intended to prioritize showing posts from users’ friends and family, will harm small businesses.
“According to Rina Liddle, the founder of Vancouver social media marketing firm Liddle Works Indie Media, some will be hit harder than others,” the CBC reported. “She says small businesses and companies that rely on Facebook’s algorithm to raise awareness for their brand won’t be getting the same exposure.”
And Inc. wrote in November that previous changes to News Feed will make it harder than ever for businesses to achieve organic reach.