As consumers spend an increasingly large amount of time engaging on social media, there is a consensus in the local advertising industry that social networks -like Facebook- are a critical tool for small businesses.  However, a new study by YaSabe reveals that relatively few small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) see heightened interaction with their customers through Facebook and fewer still are successful using social media to attract new customers.

YaSabe, the largest local search destination for US Hispanics, undertook a study to understand how SMBs leverage social media to reach and engage their consumers, and especially how Spanish-speaking SMB’s compared to others. The study analyzed over 500 SMBs top YP categories from five major US markets.  Fifty percent of SMB’s selected stated on their websites that that they spoke Spanish and speaking.

Businesses on Facebook

Facebook Presence

YaSabe’s study revealed that only 27% of all smallbusinesses sampled had a Facebook page; when analyzing Spanish-speaking businesses and merchants, these SMBs were 25% more likely to have a Facebook page compared with non- Spanish-speaking businesses (34% vs. an overall average of 27%).

Engagement, Activity, and Likes

Activity on FacebookThe study also focused on the level of engagement the SMBs had on their Facebook pages. YaSabe analyzed activity, such as comments and updates, and Facebook ‘likes’ to measure social following.

The study revealed that less than 1 in 4 businesses had ever made a post to their Facebook page, and fewer than half had shown any activity whatsoever within the last 30 days. Only 12% of all businesses sampled had actively used their Facebook pages to engage with customers within the last month. Spanish-speaking businesses were even less likely to have shown activity within 30 days (only 40% vs. an overall average of 46%) despite US Latinos over indexing in their use of social media[1].


Even though engagement with the social media site continues to grow, especially among Hispanic consumers, fewer than half of SMBs with Facebook pages had accumulated more than 100 “likes”, the token by which Facebook decides whom it will notify when a business uses its page to broadcast a post. For businesses with small followings, these pages are of little value.

Businesses with Likes


Methodology: The study was made by analyzing 500 small businesses in over 15 business categories in the metro areas of Miami, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Houston. 50% of businesses analyzed had said they had Spanish-speaking owners/staff. Businesses were analyzed based on having a Facebook page, number of followers, and date of last post.

For more information about this study, contact us at


[1] Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, 2013 Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption,