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Here on the ReviewTrackers blog, we’ve talked previously about how beneficial it could be for local businesses to claim their Yelp listings. Even without buying ads or paying for any of the site’s premium features, a Yelp-listed business can generate up to an additional $8,000 in annual revenue, on average.

But Yelp is not the only place where businesses can benefit simply by having a presence. Facebook is a pretty good platform, too, one that has become a bigger part of the marketing mix of more businesses than ever.

Facebook: “It’s a real mainstream marketing solution”

In fact, if your business still doesn’t have a Facebook page, you might be missing out. According to the social network, as much as 40 million active small business pages on Facebook, with only 2 million being active advertisers. The 40 million represents an increase from last year’s 30 million (June 2014).

“I think business owners are realizing that Facebook is not just a social media marketing channel, it’s a real mainstream marketing solution,” said Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of small business, in an interview with Fortune.

The growth comes despite the fact that Facebook recently made changes to its algorithms in ways that made it difficult for business page owners to distribute their content to users’ feeds – without, that is, paying for ads. Basically, this means that organic reach can be tough for those who are marketing on Facebook – there’s no guarantee that you’ll reach a large audience for having posted updates.

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Facebook’s new Boost Your Business program

To support the 40 million (and growing) businesses, Facebook is introducing a program called Boost Your Business, a kind of outreach roadshow wherein business owners come together in educational half-day or 2-hour popup events to share best practices and find out about the latest trends, strategies, and tools. (You can click here to register.)

“I think we have to show value for business owners,” Levy said. “It’s hard to make the perfect solution, (and) I think trying to figure out how to do that has been a challenge but also fun.”

For Facebook business page owners who do advertise, the company is offering one-on-one support through live online chat. This lets the advertiser chat and screen share with a Facebook Ads Specialist. According to the company, live chat on desktop is going to roll out initially to the US, UK, and Ireland, with more countries to be added later in the year.

Are you actively managing your business presence on Facebook? Read our quick guides to help you get more results and improve your reputation and performance on the world’s biggest social network:

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

Discussion

  1. GQmeanGeek

    Despite it’s popularity Facebook hasn’t been one of the better ways to advertise online. It’ll be interesting to see what affect this new program has. So far most people haven’t had much luck with their paid advertisements.

    Reply
    • Veronica

      I hear this a lot. It may not be best for everybody but it really depends on what market you’re in. A restaurant or local gym might not do well on Facebook but something that has the ability to go viral and sell to a wider audience can do quite well. I market with Facebook and do just fine.

      Reply
  2. Hans Anders

    A friend of mine who runs a beauty parlor (do they still call them that?) does alright on Facebook. She posts random things that keep people interested; things that aren’t related to her business. Funny stories and articles and things like that. Then when she’s having a slow day she offers a discount and posts it to her Facebook account. She says it’s worth the time she puts into it.

    Reply
    • William Hudson

      Yes, that should do it 🙂

      And, I personally think that Facebook is a true blessing for small business owners: just imagine that instead of very (very, very) expensive ads and billboards, TV commercials, etc., you can now have a free advertising plan! All that money for commercials saved – you just offer some discounts from time to time; make people follow you because of all the funny and cute things you post; offer some beneficial insights/blog posts/articles from time to time! Oh, sky is the limit!

      And, it’s not just Facebook too – there’s YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest… These are great times for small business owners indeed.

      Reply
  3. Manisha Sithembile

    Facebook is also particularly effective when hearing other people’s opinions plays a large role in their decision. Fashion for instance; especially bridal shops tend to do well on FB.

    Reply
  4. spameater

    There’s no doubt that Facebook is an excellent website for advertising your business – it’s free and small companies can get/keep in touch with local people which is the most essential thing for them.

    Reply
  5. Robin Sterling

    I’m always so amazed when I try to find a business online and realise that they don’t have a fb page. Why would you pass up ANY opportunity for free advertising and exposure. This is the phone in hand, twitter generation. Having a sepia tinted crappy picture of a coffee made at your cafe is what brings more of these same tweens to your business.

    Reply

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