Facebook Wants Your Small Business

The line between your small business website and your Facebook page just got blurrier.

That’s because Facebook recently unveiled changes that make its ‘Pages’ more functional for small business owners and more convenient for consumers on the go.

New capabilities include:

  • ‘Sections’ that list a company’s services and showcase products available for sale directly through Facebook via a Shopify partnership. The new tabs always remain stationary at the top of the page.
  • Call To Action and Contact Us buttons are prominently on display and allow end-users to directly book appointments or call now.
  • Settings that allow private responses to public posts. Businesses that actively respond to messages in a timely fashion get a badge.

Thirty-five percent of U.S. small businesses don’t have an online presence.

In the post announcing the new updates, Facebook says:

“The new features for Pages reflect our belief that no matter if you’re a plumbing company, a flower shop, a non-profit or a brand, your Page should house the information people are looking for, help you communicate with your customers and support your unique goals.”

The move was billed as a win-win for both parties since having a Page and using the new tools for your small business are completely free, but advertising is not.

Sandberg: ‘There’s nothing small about small business’

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg maintains that Facebook’s marketing solutions are more effective than custom websites. She says consumers are already spending a significant amount of time on the network, and most are already linked to at least one business’ Page.

“The world is going mobile and it’s really hard to build an online presence,” Sandberg says. “Thirty-five percent of U.S. small businesses don’t have an online presence. It’s even harder to build a mobile presence. Mobile apps are hard to develop and it’s very hard to get your app downloaded.”

Boosting Facebook ad revenue

Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser says small and midsized businesses likely combine to total a quarter of Facebook’s 2 million advertisers, but account for a small overall percentage in comparison to competitors like Google.

Wieser says, “Over the last few years Facebook has put a lot of effort into building ad products and developing initiatives to foster the presence of small businesses’ paid advertisements on Facebook. It’s been an important source of Facebook’s revenue growth in recent years and it’s going to be a contributing source going forward.”

To date, Facebook boasts 45 million small and medium business Pages.

Are you a small business owner whose opted for a Facebook page instead of a website? Let us know below how it’s working for you. 

Related post: Digital Marketing is the Great Equalizer for Small Retailers

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