Traditional Business Isn't Happening on Facebook

When Facebook released their pages service at the end of last year, they hoped that small businesses would take advantage of the new service. Facebook Pages is tightly integrated into their SocialAds offering and the only way to promote these pages is through “organic” viral channels and paid advertising. Unfortunately for Facebook the numbers don’t stack up and the company is increasingly looking like a media company, something that I’ve noticed since the platform launched almost one year ago.

Jesse Farmer has done some research to figured out what sort of distribution there is among pages and fans of those pages on Facebook. While not positive news for Facebook, the results were not surprising. Musicians and TV Shows accounted for 65 percent of all pages. These two categories also account for approximately 10 percent of the fans. Where were the rest of the fans? Aside from TV Shows and musicians, there were fans of films, politicians, actors, comedians, sports teams and sports players.

Where did small businesses show up in this data? Not among the top, I’ll say that much. The problem with Facebook is that it’s too expensive for small businesses to see an effective return on investment when launching campaigns. While you can create a page on Facebook for a local restaurant, it’s typically difficult to promote it. The other problem? People aren’t searching for local businesses.

Barack Obama is the most popular page on Facebook by a landslide with over 844,000 supporters. Apple, Victoria Secret, Nutella and H&M are the top consumer products on the site. Additionally, out of 190,365 pages there are only 7,000 pages with over 1,000 fans. That means we have already seen a substantial long tail developed among facebook pages. If you are hoping to obtain a substantial number of users, you better have a large brand name or a budget to spend on promoting your page.

Want to become successful with your Facebook promotions? Focus on media, entertainment and sports and you are headed in the right direction.