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Facebook Ramps Up SMB Outreach as 30 Million Small Businesses Active on Pages

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At an event in New York on Tuesday, Facebook’s director of small business Dan Levy announced that the company has 30 million small businesses with active Pages on its social network.

In a Q&A session at Facebook Fit, the first in a series of small business “bootcamp” events in the US this summer, Levy said that Facebook has tried to focus on working more closely with SMBs, including plans to build more mobile tools for businesses. Of the SMBs active on Facebook Pages, 19 million are already active on mobile.

The number of small businesses active on Facebook Pages is about 5 million more than last November, which marked the first time Facebook started using its current definition to counting SMBs, according to TechCrunch. Previously, the number didn’t include ecommerce businesses without a brick-and-mortar store.

When Facebook first came around, it had the hosting community wondering if free services like Facebook Pages would replace the need for a hosted website. It hasn’t been the case as many web hosts ramped up partnerships and services to address the needs of these SMB customers. While Facebook has added services that technically compete with hosting providers over the years, including chat and its now-defunct email service, Facebook has emerged as a component of business web presence rather than a complete web presence solution.

Some of Facebook’s tactics could be used by a hosting company to reach prospective SMB customers, including in-person community events or small business resources.

While Facebook’s play seems to be more about driving up its SMB numbers and paid advertising campaigns, it is still worth noting the sheer number of SMBs on Facebook, and the opportunity that SMBs present online and with mobile.

Facebook plans to grow its SMB user base by meeting face-to-face with SMB users, establishing advocacy networks, and continuing the efforts of its small business council which aims to help SMBs broaden their customer base through Facebook ads, VentureBeat reports.

Thirty-million small businesses is certainly nothing to scoff at, and is more than the 23 million small businesses that the US Small Business Administration claims to be operational in the US today. Small businesses have been responsible for much of the economic recovery in the country as they have provided more than half of all new jobs since the 1970s.

Some of Facebook’s tactics, including in-person community events, could be used by a hosting company to reach prospective SMB customers.

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