26 (121) 2016
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Facebook unlocks the potential of Polish enterprises

by Jakub Turowski, head of public policy in Poland, Facebook
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Small and medium businesses play a key role in any economy. However, they are not always able to recognise and exploit growth opportunities brought digital innovations.

In cooperation with the KIG, the Polish chamber of commerce, Facebook is organising a series of conferences named Boost Your Business, aimed at helping SMBs tap into unused potential.

The importance of SMBs for any economy cannot be overemphasised. By number, they constitute 99% of all the companies operating in Poland, employing 68% of all workers and generate more than 50% of Polish GDP. Their growth contributes directly to the economic development of the entire country.

Areas for improvement are clearly visible in terms of the use of digital technologies by SMBs. According to the report published by Polityka Insight and Thinktankcyfrowy.pl, although Poland is amongst the most dynamically digitising economies in Europe, still only 8.1% of Polish companies use social media (compared to the EU average of 14%). The same applies to online sales of goods and services – so far, this opportunity has been exploited by only 9.3% of Polish companies compared to the EU average of 15%. Only 3.3% of Polish companies use internet to sell abroad –compared to 6.5% across the EU.

These statistics, as well as lower productivity in comparison with the EU average, show the potential of the Polish market when it comes to promoting the usage of digital tools, such as Facebook, for ensuring innovative and sustainable growth of Polish business. For this reason, we strive to play an educational role on the local market. This desire is reflected in our initiative to organise a series of conferences under the name Boost Your Business in the biggest Polish cities. The first edition took place in Warsaw and met with considerable interest among the representatives of small and medium companies. Future editions will take place in Wrocław, Kraków, Katowice and Gdańsk. Boost Your Business conferences are an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to share experiences, learn more about the latest marketing trends or listen to success stories that might serve as an inspiration for them in creating their own business development strategies.

More than 60m companies worldwide use Facebook pages to communicate with their customers, while more than 3m companies advertise on Facebook. Customers, on the other hand, use this social platform to communicate with companies by posting 2.5 billion comments on their pages each month. Interestingly, Facebook is particularly popular among Polish users as a channel for communication with brands. Polish users sent by 50% more messages to Facebook pages compared to the global average. These numbers reflect great openness to the use of social media in building and maintaining relations with companies. This is also proven by the fact that 85% of Polish Facebook users are connected with at least one page owned by a small or medium enterprise. Facebook tools also enable companies to expand globally – in total, 60m people are connected with Polish SMBs via Facebook.

Facebook’s attractiveness as a tool for promoting SMBs results from greater customer reach compared to any other communication channel. Each month, 1.7 billion people use Facebook all over the world. In Poland, Facebook has 14m users per month, including 11m users who access Facebook via mobile devices. Of all media channels, Facebook offers the most precise targeting tools that help specialised enterprises offering niche products and services in reaching relevant target groups.

Data shows that more and more entrepreneurs understand the importance of internet as the key channel of communication with customers equally on the local, regional and global level. We hope that, thanks to such educational initiatives undertaken by Facebook as Boost Your Business conferences, as well as actions undertaken by other entities and legislative procedures followed by public institutions, Polish SMBs will make a huge step forward in exploiting their full potential.

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