This morning Facebook rolled out a new, simpler way to get more Page likes. It’s aimed chiefly though not exclusively at small businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 10,000 fans. That undoubtedly includes the overwhelming majority of SMBs with a presence on Facebook.
The tools to create the simpler ad unit are in the Page admin console making it more accessible for SMBs who may be less familiar with Facebook’s ad creation flow. Indeed, this is a kind of companion to Promoted Posts, which is a simplified way for SMBs to advertise on Facebook.
All the content and daily budget are suggested. Here’s a mock-up example:
The ad unit will get exposure on the right rail of the PC version of Facebook. It also gets mobile and newsfeed distribution.
A subtle but key element of the pre-populated UI is the estimated number of Likes that advertisers will get in exchange for their budgets. The higher the spend, the more Likes.
Facebook (and former Yahoo Local) executive Matt Idema said that the Like estimates were based on Facebook’s data and were a fairly accurate projection of what would result. He told me that “little things” like this are important in winning and maintaing the trust of SMB advertisers in particular.
In addition to having fewer than 10,000 fans there must be a city in the about section of the Page to qualify. The simplified option is being rolled out to a subset of all qualified Pages but will be generally available “as soon as possible” says Idema.
Facebook’s Director of Global SMB Markets Dan Levy recently told a conference audience that since January active local pages have increased over 40 percent. And on Facebook’s most recent earnings call the company reported that it had “12.8 million [SMBs with] Facebook Pages, 8 million of them use that Page monthly, and over 3.5 million post weekly.”