Al Cupo, Vice President, Local Media Association
Meet the Disruptor: Facebook
Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small business, heads up their initiatives to tap into the SMB advertising market. Levy discussed how Facebook is working directly, and through partners, to serve the marketing needs of local SMBs.
Levy began his presentation by telling the audience ”word of mouth marketing matters.” He sited new Borrell research that indicates referrals from other customers is the number one driver of buying decisions and that direct referrals from friends and family ranks a close third. Levy then provided an overview of the challenges associated with developing and maintaining a successful Facebook SMB marketing solution.
Problem: No non-human entities on Facebook. Each business must have their own personalized page managed by a real person.
Solution: Local ads have doubled on Facebook since Jan. 2012, and there are now over 15 million local business pages on Facebook.
Problem: Small businesses don’t have a lot of time to manage their page.
Solution: Promoted posts offer the ability to post once and push the same message to fans and friends from the same page. In addition, the ability to target marketing messages makes it easier to manage customized promotions.
Problem: Users are increasingly accessing Facebook via mobile devices. There are over 600 million people on Facebook via mobile devices each month but only 23% of advertisers are on mobile.
Solution: The Facebook Page Manager App delivers promoted posts seamlessly to mobile devices. The app also allows on-the-go business owners to easily update their pages anytime, anywhere. Over 8 million business owners now use this app.
Opportunity: Business recommendations from friends are valuable.
Solution: The development of a new search feature that allows friends to search and access comments from their friends providing business recommendations.
Levy continued his presentation by telling the audience that even with the new tools they continue to introduce, SMB’s still need help.He cited Borrell’s research that indicates SMB’s ranked second the need for social media marketing program assistance, right behind website design and hosting. Facebook is highly focused on developing easy to use solutions but he noted that some things are harder to address than others.
The following are some of the areas that still require solutions:
- Content is difficult to scale. The majority of SMB pages now being managed by 3rd party social network managers have little engagement/interaction. Content must be personal and customized to drive engagement. This constant updating is often difficult to keep current.
- Pricing for social media marketing management is expensive.
- Technical challenges that require attention:
- 3rd party permissions
- Consolidated invoicing
- 3rd party performance reporting
Levy closed by citing ways that local media companies can work with Facebook to help develop successful SMB marketing solutions:
- Focus on the user
- Set realistic expectations - Facebook is not there yet and early stages require patience.
- Involve your technologists - the more technology focused your company is the more you can experiment now.
- Iterate - Manage your own expectations but expect to make changes as Facebook continues to evolve.
- Share you feedback - Facebook wants to know what you are hearing from local SMBs…both the success stories and the challenges.
Visit the “Facebook for Business” best practices page for more information: www.facebook.com/business