Small businesses have stayed away from Facebook advertising due to cost and uncertainty about its effect, but the social media site is pursuing them with workshops and special pricing.
It might be hard to believe, but there is a market for advertising that Facebook has not yet fully engaged. But they plan to erase that mistake in the coming months.
Facebook is trying to engage small business owners for advertising dollars that it has missed out on. Small business owners have to be convinced that they can make full use of the advertising opportunities Facebook offers.
The social media site has created a campaign called Facebook Fit. Following up with workshops in five cities, to show small business owners how to use Facebook for marketing purposes.
“They don’t have enough customers,’’ said Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg in an interview with the Associated Press. “This is their No. 1 problem and we can help them solve it.”
“In the past, creating an ad campaign on Facebook was a daunting task for small business owners,’’ said Megan Trombino-Pruitt, owner of the social networking advisory company Suffusion Social. “Facebook’s advertising platform was not user-friendly, offered limited targeting options and provided little transparency into what results your advertisements would produce. Today, Facebook has evolved for the better.”
However, there is a No. 2 problem which is specific to small businesses. They don’t have the staff necessary to maintain a vibrant Facebook page with regular updates on business news.
“Participating on Facebook requires a savvy employee who can dedicate time to nurturing and growing their company’s presence on Facebook,’’ Trombino-Pruitt said. “I believe with a strategic approach, any business can fit participating in social networks into their daily routine. I urge my clients to map out a month’s worth of content in advance. This allows for more time to be spent fostering a community and shifts focus away from creating content on a daily basis.”
Facebook is doing everything it can to make the small business owner comfortable with the format while trying to find a way to fit updates into a business owner’s daily schedule. It has created a way for Facebook pages to be updated from a mobile phone.
Facebook has also changed its pricing structure for small business advertising to fit the social media pages into a company’s budget.
Small businesses use Facebook for free already, sending out posts to customers who provide names. If the company has a website, it can ask customers to “Like” their page. But using paid Facebook advertising puts the business on the site to potential new customers and skips the step of having someone send dedicated posts to customers.
Facebook is having workshops over the summer, in coordination with local chambers of commerce, to promote the idea and show small business owners how to move forward. The workshops are going to be in Chicago, New York, Miami, Austin, Texas and Menlo Park, Calif.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.