Facebook Now Has 40M Active Small Business Pages
Facebook announces "Boost Your Business" tour and live chat support for advertisers.
Facebook continues to roll out the red carpet for small businesses. And they continue to create Facebook Pages.
Today, the social network announced that 40 million SMBs have active Facebook Pages. That’s up from the 30 million Facebook said it had last June. To support those businesses Facebook will host a series of “Boost Your Business” events in the coming months. Facebook is also rolling out live chat support for advertisers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland (with plans to add it in more countries later this year).
With both initiatives, Facebook wants to send the message that it’s committed to helping small businesses with Facebook marketing, both organic and paid. Shrinking organic reach for Page posts has been a point of frustration for many SMBs and Facebook has been nudging them with education and explanations about how people use Facebook to interact with businesses. One of the recurring messages is that creating a beachhead on Facebook is valuable even if potential customers don’t regularly see your businesses posts in their News Feed.
“Creating a presence on Facebook … is a powerful asset in its own right,” Facebook head of small business Jonathan Czaja told TechCrunch.
You likely hear similar opinions at the “Boost Your Business” events, which come in two flavors — two-hour popups that will start in May in small and medium sized cities and half-day sessions later in the year in San Diego (June 4), Minneapolis (July 30), Nashville (Aug. 17) and Boston (Oct. 15). The first popup events are Friday in Simi Valley, California, and Pickering, Ontario, Canada. Popups are free; here’s a link to the sign-up page.
The half-day events (sign-up link here) cost $25, a fee that’s offset by a $50 coupon for Facebook ads. Here’s the agenda:
- A small business panel and Q&A session moderated by author and small business marketing expert Mari Smith
- A small business networking center with industry specific meet-ups and chance to speak with our panelists
- A learn-how zone with educational videos
- Facebook and partner counters where you can speak with industry experts
- One of two Facebook learning tracks to choose from – Growing Online Sales or Driving In-store Sales
- One of three partners sessions to choose from hosted by MailChimp, Shopify, and Visa
Live Chat For Advertisers
The new live chat feature offers advertisers one-on-one support from the desktop. Previously, small business advertisers needed to email their questions to Facebook reps. Now they can access chat from the Facebook for Business resource page. Facebook said it will be testing mobile chat and phone support this year.