Merchant Circle has recently conducted a study about the popularity of Facebook Places and other sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla among small and medium businesses. (SMBs).
Location based startups such as Foursquare Gowalla and Groupon have been around for a longer time than Facebook Places but are not doing quite as well as Facebook Places.
The study was carried out across a sample of 8,456 SMBs, of which 6,874 answered questions about group buying deals. Only 23% of them had offered a daily deal and over 50% of them (856) had decided not to do so again. The remaining members surveyed had never offered a daily deal in the past.
On the other hand, 32% of members of Merchant Circle, are making use of Facebook Places which was launched only last August, to promote their businesses. Another 12% of members plan to start using Facebook Places soon.
Foursquare, which was being used by 2% members until last year is now being used by 9% but has not seen any growth in the last quarter.
The survey also showed that 72% of SMBs spend less than $5,000 per year on marketing. More than half of them spend less than $2,500 and 34% spend less than $1,000.