Many small business owners have likely heard over and over again how important it is to have a social media presence, and typically those offering such advice are correct. However, what entrepreneurs often might not hear is just how much those social networks need them to participate as well.
Facebook, the world’s largest social media website, recently announced that it had surpassed 30 million active small business pages on its site, up from 25 million as recently as November, according to a report from Tech Crunch. However, the web company also says that it might need to actually become more engaged with these independent firms, because it doesn’t necessarily feel it’s doing as good a job as possible meeting the needs of its small business clients.
And there’s a potentially significant payoff for the company in terms of dealing better with small businesses, the report said. Experts point out that Facebook profits considerably from small businesses taking out ads for their goods or services, and recent data suggests that the company may be limiting the reach of small businesses unless they pay for advertisements on the site. For its part, the network says that this isn’t actually the case, but more the result of companies updating their pages less often, which makes them drop in the rankings on the site. Though the more recent numbers were not available, November saw only 1 in 25 small business on the site actually pay for such promotion.
Mobile will be important going forward
In addition to social media being a necessity, many small business experts also think that companies will have to get more heavily involved in mobile use marketing to reach consumers in the coming years, the report said. Facebook claims that its platforms allow for this fairly easily, with the company’s director of small business, Dan Levy, saying, “If you have a mobile phone and you have a Facebook Page, you have a mobile marketing strategy.” In all, about 19 million companies with Facebook pages say they’re already active with mobile users.
Owners who want to free up a little bit of money for such efforts might do well to consider the ways in which reducing costs for small business insurance can help their firms. By finding more affordable consultant insurance, for instance, they may be able to trim thousands of dollars from their annual budgets.