Sure, you visit Facebook to connect with far-flung family and classmates from college, but there are others who want to talk to you, too. They’re called small businesses — who have a message for you — and they now number 30 million.
That’s the number of small biz players with active pages on the premier social network, according to Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small business.
In a recent talk with marketers and media, Levy said the figure is up from the 25 million Facebook counted in November, 2013. The numbers hike was affected, however, by the network’s decision to include e-commerce businesses without a brick-and-mortar store.
Facebook has been “really trying to pivot to be more proactive,” said Levy in his remarks. He indicated that while the small business team formerly just reviewed and approved ads, it now works more closely with small biz to provide information and promote Facebook as a potential source of profit.
During the Q&A session, Levy was asked about Facebook’s decline in organic reach — in other words, it’s not a free-for-all anymore. Businesses have to pay for reach. Levy said Facebook has attributed that decline in organic reach to the increasing number of connections and updates (so much content, so little time).
Levy said that while it’s hard to predict the future, he believes the company will follow two core principles: it will always try to do “what’s right for the people on Facebook,” and “make the changes to keep things engaging for people.”
Levy said his team will also focus on building more mobile tools for businesses. He noted that 19 million of those small businesses with Facebook pages are active on mobile.
“If you have a mobile phone and you have a Facebook Page, you have a mobile marketing strategy,” said Levy.
In a moment of levity, Levy also shared an anecdote, noting that he and his wife found the Palo Alto home they purchased after viewing an ad on Facebook.