For years, Facebook has been trying to teach small and medium-sized local businesses how to use its complicated advertising system, with mixed results. After revamping their system to a new format called “Promoted Posts,” they’re seeing some success.
12.8 million small business have a free-to-use Facebook Page, and 8 million use it monthly. After launching their new Promote Posts ads, Facebook got 300,000 small business users to buy ads.
The new Promoted Posts ad format is relatively simple. Once a page has shared something to the news feeds of its fans, it can pay to show that post to a bigger percentage of their fans with just two clicks. There’s no separate, complex ad targeting interface and the ads can even be bought from mobile devices.
“It’s really hard to get local businesses online,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer. Still, of the 12.8 million local business pages, 3.5 million post to their fans weekly.
Facebook is looking for more ways to make their ads easier to use, including Sponsored Stories and ads in the sidebar. Mobile is another arena Facebook is looking to explore into. Sandberg noted that 100,000 small business users have tried out the Facebook Offers online coupon product. By offering more and simpler options, Facebook is looking to monetize their service and profit off of small and medium sized businesses.