Facebook: We Have 25 Million Active Small Business Pages

Facebook is announcing today at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco that it now has 25 million active small business (SMB) Pages. This number comes on the heels of a third-quarter earnings call announcement of 20 million SMBs on the site.

Facebook’s Director of Small Business Dan Levy told me earlier this week that the change in the number of small business Pages was not a function of adding five million more SMBs in the last couple of weeks. Rather, he said that it was a function of changing the definition of SMB Pages to include a broader array of business types.

The 20 million figure was associated with SMBs that had a physical address or local storefront. By including e-commerce businesses and mobile developers who qualify as SMBs but aren’t “local” the number increases to 25 million. Some of the 20 million offline SMBs also engage in e-commerce, so there’s a kind of Venn diagram with an overlapping population. The degree of overlap is probably small, however.

All 25 million technically qualify as small businesses.

I asked Levy if any of the 25 million were using personal accounts. He said no. These are all business Pages. He also said that all of them are posting content and/or on their analytics dashboards at least on a monthly basis; they are actively managed accounts.

The 25 million figure is global. And try as I might, I cannot get Facebook to tell me anything more about the geographic distribution of these SMBs. One can assume that a substantial number are in North American and Europe, however.

The US Census Bureau says there are roughly 27 million “firms” in the US. Well over 90 percent qualify as SMBs by headcount, with the majority being very small: under four employees. The “addressable market” of US SMBs, from a digital marketing perspective, is quite a bit smaller than the 27 million figure suggests — probably half or less than half.

Facebook’s challenge is to help migrate more of its active SMB users into the advertiser column. That’s no small task. However, the company has been trying a range of tactics, from in-person seminars to “do-it-for-me” set-up assistance to get started with Facebook advertising.

Facebook DIFM SMBs

The company says that it has roughly one million advertisers, a substantial number of which are SMBs. But even if 90 percent of the one million advertisers were SMBs that would still leave more than 24 million in the non-advertiser category.

There’s obviously a massive opportunity here, but Facebook will have to move heaven and earth to realize it.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Facebook: Advertising | Facebook: Business Issues | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.LinkedMediaGroup.com Linked Media Group, Inc.

    This story is so off the target in terms of what small business need on Facebook. I would wager 90% of small businesses on Facebook are struggling with the platform:

    1) FB was designed for consumers not businesses and the Platform reflects these design parameters; SMBs are an afterthought.

    2) A Brand has to go through a personal page to even set up minor tab functionality or third party connectivity.

    3) Facebook does not support SMBs (Brands) in terms of even providing adequate Customer Service – no phone number, no email – typical of “high growth” social media platforms.

    4) Most SMBs on Facebook are much better off on Twitter or LinkedIn if they are targeting other businesses; Facebook should be an afterthought.

    5) Engagement and Reach on Facebook for a Business Page are held captive to Advertising.

    6) Insights as Analytics are crude, hard to understand, let alone use for conversion metrics.

    7) Facebook’s Power Editor only supports one browser flavor: Chrome.

    I get sick of reading all of these blog posts about how many SMBs (businesses) are “thriving” on Facebook. Sure, if your big National Brand you get five star support; but there are millions of SMBs struggling on this platform. If Facebook put meaningful R&D investment into Business Pages it would be great! See: MySpace.

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