Local businesses are thriving on Facebook, according to statistics released Friday by Dan Levy, director of small business at the social network, who said more than 2 billion connections exist on Facebook between users and local businesses, adding that approximately 70 percent of monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada are connected to local businesses.
The data from Levy was shared as part of a note on the Facebook Marketing page that focused on small businesses in Dixon, Ill., prior to the April edition of Second Saturday, in which downtown stores feature the work of local artists on the second Saturday of each month, using Facebook groups and pages to promote the events and their businesses in general.
Businesses that are set to participate in this month’s Second Saturdays event include Distinctive Gardens, Trein’s Jewelry, and Rosbrook Studio, and Lisa Higby LeFevre, co-owner of Distinctive Gardens, started Second Saturdays along with husband and co-owner Bud LeFevre. She offered three tips for small businesses looking to make their marks on Facebook:
- Create a Facebook group with other small businesses in your community to plan and brainstorm about events and promotions you can do together, like Second Saturdays or Sauk Valley Shop Small — another event where the small businesses in their region encourage people to shop at small businesses.
- Build a Facebook page to communicate with the community and publicize your events.
- Use Facebook ads to get more people in your community to follow your Facebook page, reach your customers, and attract new ones.
Distinctive Gardens promoted its annuals season — April through June, when the majority of its flowers are sold — exclusively via Facebook in 2012 and saw revenue increase 41 percent.
Meanwhile, Trein’s Jewelry has been in business for 130 years, and it uses Facebook to market its high-end jewelry, and Rosbrook Studio, a co-op that hosts theater and music shows, said it would not exist without the social network.
Levy added in his note:
For decades, small businesses have relied on the recommendations of friends and family to acquire new customers and grow sales. In fact, Nielsen reports that consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing from friends and family far more than any other form. Facebook helps businesses amplify their word-of-mouth marketing in the places where their customers are spending more of their time, online and on mobile devices.
These numbers illustrate the extensive reach for small businesses on Facebook. We also know that these numbers are made up of individual small business owners. The heart of small business may be in Dixon, Ill., where small businesses are collaborating and using Facebook to drive growth and build a stronger sense of community.
The small businesses in Dixon use Facebook groups to plan and Facebook pages to promote events in their town including Second Saturdays, a monthly event where Dixon shops feature the work of local artists in their stores.
I’m inspired by Lisa and the small businesses in Dixon. I know there are many other small business owners with stories to share. We’d love to hear from you.
Readers: How often do you interact with local businesses’ Facebook pages?