We continue to be perplexed with ad hoc so called “studies” making claims about the lack of engagement of Facebook Fans with brands and businesses. The latest headline from a popular social media blog gasps “Only 6% of Facebook Fans Engage with Brand Pages“.

Big Deal. confusing survey data on social media

A small business Facebook page and every other social media profile is more important than basic metrics such as number of Fans and engagement with posts, tweets, pins and other actions. Sure, have a post get a lot of “Likes”,  comments and shares is terrific but don’t let inactivity get you discouraged or worse, have you abandon social marketing.

Remember that thing called the Yellow Pages? For many businesses – it is still an important part of their marketing promotion. Guess what – So is Social Media – think of it as an interactive Yellow Pages. You know, a phone book ad that can talk back to you, ask a question, immediately let a customer see more details about you and why they should do business with you.

It’s headlines that try to paint social media as ineffective that distort the reality. For instance, when was the last time you were able to measure how many people saw or engaged with your yellow page ad or radio spot? You really can’t so don’t let the measurement capability of this new medium bias your decision to get involved.

Regardless of how many people actually engaged with your social presence, know that having it puts you in the game. It helps you with search rankings, It benefits you with review sites like Yelp. It provides another critical communication channel for prospects and customers to see you and, if they want, reach you.

And this take on the same article brings up a good point. For the “6%” – or whatever the number is for you – that do engage with your page take good care of these active fans. Use their vocal social presence and amplification to help spread the word among their networks.

So please don’t get swayed by irrelevant surveys that point to data not really important to what you can accomplish in the social marketing arena. Rather – continue to learn and participate through the 5 steps of social marketing and watch your business succeed.