Facebook May Finally Be Gaining Ground In The Small Business Sector
Written by Ken Gaebler
Small business owners are increasingly using pages and promoted posts to engage social channel consumers.
While Facebook has always been a hit with social media users and consumers, the popular social networking site has historically struggled to gain traction among small businesses. But according to Mark Walsh of Media Post News, Facebook is adding small and medium-sized business users at a steady pace in 2013.
Facebook's director of small business, Dan Levy, recently reported that Facebook has a total of 15 million pages run by small businesses, up from 13 million at year-end 2012. Similarly, the number of entities that use the Page Manager app, enabling them to update their pages from a remote mobile connection, has jumped to 8 million from 5 million at the end of last year.
Although marketing your business on Facebook makes a lot of sense for entrepreneurs and SMB owners interested in cost-effective promotional strategies, many owners have been limited in their ability to convert a Facebook presence into improved sales. Companies that have been most effective in leveraging Facebook for increased market share have focused on using their Facebook presence to create engaging dialogues and stronger connections with customers.
Business owners have also found promoted posts to be a powerful tool for generating bottom line business outcomes. Approximately 500,000 pages use promoted posts, an increase from 300,000 in December. It's estimated that one out of four promoted posts are new advertisers with the remaining ads being purchased by businesses or individuals that have previously advertised on Facebook.
Still, the keys to business success with Facebook appear to be engagement and interaction. Levy points out that 70 percent of pages that are managed by third parties have little or no engagement with consumers. Despite the challenges associated with constantly creating new content and interacting with targeted social audiences, it's critical for small businesses to maintain an active Facebook presence--a task that Levy says Facebook will help SMBs accomplish by providing more self-serve tools and resources going forward.
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