According to Facebook’s director of small business, Dan Levy, the company currently has 30 million small businesses with active fan pages on their social networking website. That number is up by 25 million from last year, when Facebook first started counting SMBs with their current definition.
Levy detailed this information during a press Q&A at Facebook Fit, a small business based event.
He went on to say that Facebook has, in recent months, been “really trying to pivot to be more proactive” – meaning that rather than just reviewing and approving ads, the company is making more of an effort to work more closely with SMBs, making sure they have information they need. He called the process “an evolution”.
If small businesses already have Facebook fan pages, it stands to reason that many of them are already implementing mobile apps, or will be doing so soon.
Levy answered questions about how Facebook fan pages allow small businesses to interact with their customers, as well as the “reach” these businesses have with their “fans”. Facebook has taken flack in recent months for the decline in “organic reach”, that is to say, accessibility to their posts. The average viewer only gets so many posts from a fan page on their feed. Facebook claims that this is due to the increasing number of connections and updates, but users have complained that with Facebook becoming more and more ad and interest driven, Facebook is picking and choosing what they allow their users to see.
How will this affect the average small business with a fan page?
With it becoming more and more likely that businesses can only reach their fans with paid-for ads, it seems more likely to generate business and new leads with a mobile app. That way, customers can download the app and interact with their fans as often as they’d like. Businesses can offer special rewards, loyalty programs, interactive features, push notifications, and more. Facebook fan pages are much more limited in what you can offer your customers.
As far as Facebook is concerned for small business, Levy said that the company will try to do “what’s right for the people on Facebook”, and that they will try to adapt, to “make the changes to keep things engaging for people.”
According to Levy, Facebook plans to build more mobile tools for businesses. He says that 19 million of small businesses with Facebook fan pages are already active on mobile. This goes to show that businesses of every size has mobile high on their agenda for small businesses – including Facebook!