Small Businesses Marketing Via Facebook

If there is one thing small business owners lack, it’s time. These CEOs must wear many hats to keep their businesses running. And the tech-​savvy types in this category are finding they can save time and money by both marketing on Facebook and running their ecommerce system on the site.

Facebook hasn’t been offering ecommerce services for long. And there have been some highly visible failures by large retailers like Gap and Gamestop. But smaller businesses may fare better in this channel.  Payvment, an F‑commerce service provider, notes that Facebook sellers are using Facebook Ads and they’re generating sales through their presence as merchants on the social media site.

Most Facebook sellers aren't content to merely rely on the site to promote their business. They're using a variety of methods to market their storefronts and products. This includes:

  •  Facebook ads 38%
  • Company website 38%
  • Twitter 34%
  • Email 30%
  • Traditional print 12%
  • Direct mail 9%
  • Paid search (Google) 8%

These business owners note that the big advantage to running an F‑commerce location stems from keeping consumers on the page (60%) as they buy and the ease of promoting via social media (61%).  Over 30% of these businesses run solely on Facebook while others are expanding their sales channels across the Internet to places like Amazon and eBay as well as to traditional store fronts.

The biggest challenge these marketers face is a lack of time for marketing and a poor understanding of how marketing on Facebook works. The Payvment survey was based on about 750 active Facebook ecommerce providers. These businesses have an average of about 500 fans each and many believe this number needs to grow. It will be interesting to watch how their marketing activities change as their businesses mature on the Facebook channel.

[Source: Small Businesses Bringing Traffic. Payvment​.com. 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.