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.
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: