Facebook SMB head Dan Levy addresses organic reach, personalized help and video

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Dan Levy, Facebook’s Director of Small Business, knows that you want more direct help and response from Facebook. The small business department has been reaching out to frustrated page owners, guiding them through advertising features such as Custom Audiences, and helping out small business owners attending events.

Levy spoke to a capacity crowd Wednesday at Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect in San Jose, Calif., a conference aimed at helping small business owners reach their goals. Levy talked about how intelligent targeting, the conversion pixel and a mobile approach can help busy small business owners find success through the site. But what if you actually want to talk with someone from Facebook about your business? That’s one of the things Facebook has been investing in, Levy recently told Inside Facebook in an interview.

Inside Facebook: Can we talk about the way that video is being utilized by small businesses on Facebook?

Dan Levy: We’ve seen small businesses using video on Facebook for a long time. There’s been a lot of organic activity already. What we’re really excited about and what we’re seeing use from is our new video views objective. If you’re a small business owner, you can click for views, which is great because it helps us get it to more people who are going to see your video. So we’ve got examples from all over the world — Grant’s Whisky from Scotland takes stuff that they were running on small TV budgets, running it on Facebook and they were really excited about the results.

We’re seeing other examples across the United States — toy companies and many others — of people who are starting to use video as a way to help tell a more engaging story than just a story. Especially with auto-play on the consumer side.

IF: So you’re seeing companies import more video away from TV and YouTube and into Facebook?

DL: We’re seeing all types. We’re seeing stuff that was produced in TV coming to Facebook. We’re seeing stuff that was on YouTube coming to Facebook. We’re also seeing stuff that frankly just gets shot on smartphones, where someone just says, “You know, I’m just going to make this instead of a picture post.” We think it’s great and we think there’s going to be a lot more.

IF: Something I’ve heard from page admins is that while Facebook is getting much better at explaining concepts and making advertising simpler, they want someone there to offer support. How is Facebook working toward getting more individualized support for small business owners on the site?

DL: One of the things we learned on our summer Facebook Fit tour is that people do want face-to-face help. We made the product simple and there are 30 million pages that are using it without much help. But for those that do want a little more help, we’ve been investing in that in a few ways. One is through very specific programs. We ran a small program for those who wanted to use Custom Audiences, which is one of our targeting solutions. If they got stuck, we’d pop up a little message asking if they want someone to talk it through on the phone. Not broad support, but on a very specific issue. We got very positive response and more people started using the product. We think this is going to be the future of where we go, which is really targeted help and support.

We’ve also continued to invest in a program (Start to Success) that helps people onboard. So if they’re new to Facebook, we’ll do a series of calls with them over the course of a month to help them learn how to use Facebook. We’ll always build a solution to make it easy to use as possible, but we’re also investing in trying to provide a human face for support with Facebook.