Facebook sees growth in U.S. SMB market

smb marketingFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told us last year that serving small business is “just as important” as helping large advertisers achieve their goals. Since then we’ve seen the company make a number of changes to simplify Facebook marketing and advertising tools and conduct more outreach to help small and medium-sized businesses find value in the platform.

Today Dan Levy, Director of Small Business at Facebook, shared new stats about growth in the SMB market. There are now more than 2 billion connections between people and local businesses in the U.S. There are an average of 645 million views of these pages and 13 million comments on them each week. Facebook says about 70 percent of all monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada are connected to a local business on the social network.

Many SMBs are discovering the power of Facebook marketing through pages, Promoted Posts and highly targeted ads. Levy shared the story of Distinctive Gardens, a garden center in Dixon, Ill., which used only Facebook promotions for advertising during the annuals season and saw a 41 percent increase in revenue. A few years ago, the owners of Distinctive Gardens started a monthly event in town called Second Saturday where downtown stores display work from local artists. They also use Facebook to promote the events. This Saturday, a team from Facebook is joining local officials and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger in Dixon. There, Facebook’s SMB growth team lead Kirsten Bury will participate in a Q&A for business owners, community organizers and others looking to better understand how to use Facebook strategically.

Facebook has been making a number of hires and adding positions weekly to increase SMB support and growth, including internationally.

Sandberg said revenue from local businesses was strong in Q4 2012, with the number of local businesses paying for advertising on Facebook doubling since the beginning of 2012, in large part because of Promoted Posts. At the end of January, Facebook said nearly 500,000 pages had tried the offering. Offers is another product popular among local businesses. Facebook will report its first quarter earnings on May 1.

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