Q&A with Facebook Director of Small Business Dan Levy (Part II)

Small businesses make up a great portion of the Facebook ecosystem. While some only advertise once a month, or spend a few dollars a week, it is possible to grow a business through Facebook advertising.

Facebook Director of Small Business Dan Levy recently spoke with InsideFacebook.com to learn more about Facebook’s goals for helping small businesses thrive. Part one of the interview can be found here.

Inside Facebook: Speaking more to businesses that either spend a little bit or haven’t spent yet, how does Facebook get a small business started? Is there any help on Facebook for when a business starts to have a presence?

Dan Levy: One of the beauties of Facebook is that most small business owners are on Facebook already, just as themselves. They’re their real identity and they’re on Facebook interacting with friends. It’s a very natural progression for them to learn and understand how Facebook works, and then do what they’ve been doing on Facebook as a user for their business as a page.

One of the things we like to tell people is that using Facebook for your business is as easy as using Facebook as a user. We know more than 1 billion people have used Facebook as a user, so we think we’ve got a really good solution there.

A lot of the evolution we see is someone comes to Facebook as a user, and they’ll create a page, then they’ll start to get engagement from that page, and they’ll write for their business just as they were writing for their personal Facebook page. And from there, they’ll start to get traction and really see the value that they’re getting from reaching customers and driving sales. They’ll start to invest more in it from an advertising perspective.

IFB: What are the types of businesses that are coming to Facebook more often? What trends do you see, in terms of businesses joining Facebook and advertising now?

Levy: With a million active advertisers, we see a little bit of everything and there’s probably things that we haven’t even seen yet. We think it falls into a few categories, but we really believe that the solution works for everybody. Obviously local businesses are using it because there’s very powerful targeting for reaching people with precise interests around your business. For one example, there’s a school on the East Coast, an equestrian college. They can reach people in and around their area that are interested in horses, and are in an age group that would want to go back to school to change their career.

That’s one type of example. Obviously e-commerce businesses do quite well on Facebook. … Whether it’s trying to draw traffic to their physical business or their online store, we think we’ve built a really good solution and we’re seeing all these great businesses come up on Facebook, and there’s millions more.

IFB: What are some advertising techniques that businesses have used to get people through the door and get in-store conversions?

Levy: I think starting from the page has been the key, as businesses have control of the page on Facebook. Posting content that’s really engaging brings up brand awareness and we’ve seen businesses use everything from our Offers product to draw people in to softer things like whisper codes and pictures of new products and announcements of new hours or sales. The same types of things that they’ve been advertising forever, they’re doing on Facebook to reach their customers. We’re constantly talking to them about new variations that we can make and different pieces of value that we can add to the product.