There's some really interesting data in the Network Solutions State of Small Business report on the impact of social media on traditional websites.
When asked how social media usage is impacting their spending plans on their traditional websites, 62% of small businesses said that social media didn't change their spending plans for the coming year. 27% said they are planning on increasing their spend due to social media.
But 9% plan on eliminating (4%) or spending less (5%) on their traditional website due to social media. While 9% sounds low, last June only 2% reported plans to spend less or eliminate their traditional website due to social media.
In the forecasting world, we call a 6 month shift of this magnitude a signal.
But despite the feedback, many small businesses are using Facebook for their firm's primary website. We're also seeing a growing number of new small businesses choosing Facebook over a traditional website for their web presence.
As our post earlier this week shows, the trend towards Facebook becoming an important web presence site for small businesses is clear.
What is unclear is how big this shift will be, and whether or not Facebook will fully replace traditional websites or simply augment them.
We don't think Facebook is going to fully replace traditional websites, at least not in the next 5 years.
But we do think over the next 5 years Facebook is going to become the primary web presence for roughly half of all small businesses that are online.
What do you think?