It's no secret that Facebook has a massive and highly engaged audience—but just how big, how active, and how valuable for small businesses and B2B companies is a much-debated subject.

"Should my B2B company have a Facebook page?"

"My customers and prospects don't use Facebook."

"Our Facebook page only has a few hundred fans, so why bother?"

There are just a few of the questions and comments we frequently hear.

To help you make an informed decision about your company's Facebook strategy, we've compiled the following 12 Essential Facebook Stats that cover all of these questions and more:

1. 93% of adult US Internet users are on Facebook. (source: BlogHer, April 2011)

2. One out of every eight minutes online is spent on Facebook. (source: ComScore, February 2011)

3. The average Facebook user spends more than 11 hours per month on Facebook. (sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2010 & Facebook Press Room, 2011)

4. Facebook is overtaking Google and Yahoo in total time spent online. (source: ComScore, August 2011)

5. Facebook has become the top choice for social sign-in. (source: Janrain, April 2011)

6. Facebook has become the preferred way to share content online, second only to email—for now. (source: Chadwick Martin Bailey, September 2010)

7. The average number of "likes" per post on a brand's Facebook page is 54. The average number of comments per post is 9. (source: Visibli, April 2011)

8. More than half of B2B marketers agree that Facebook is an effective marketing tool. (source: Outsell, December 2009)

9. More than half of small businesses agree that Facebook is beneficial to their business. (source: Ad-ology, November 2010)

10. More than 1/3 of marketers say Facebook is "critical" or "important" to their business. (source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report 2011)

11. The number of marketers who say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased 83% in two years. (source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report 2011)

12. 67% of B2C and 41% of B2B companies that use Facebook for marketing have acquired a customer through this channel. (source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report 2011)

Flip through the deck below to get a closer, more visual look at this data in chart format or download all of these slides (and many more!) here .

Originally published May 31, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016