As Small Businesses Become Tech Savvy, They Could Earn Big Ad Revenue For Facebook

Just 3 percent of small business ad spend goes online right now, but that’s going to change, and Facebook wants to become these merchants’ channel of choice. There are already 2 billion connections between people and small businesses on Facebook, and their Pages get 645 million views and 13 million comments a week, Facebook announced today. The challenge for Facebook is now educating moms and pops, and simplifying its ad tools.

Facebook is entering the next phase of its small business education program, which it launched in 2011 with the National Federation of Independent Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This Saturday, Kirsten Bury of Facebook’s small business team will hit the street in the small town of Dixon, Illinois to raise awareness and spread understanding of Facebook’s marketing tools.

Currently Facebook’s ad businesses is predominantly supported by big businesses, which, according to a recent BCG study, spend 16 percent of their budgets online. But that’s largely because enormous companies can afford to have dedicated online marketing teams who can learn the ins and outs of complicated tools.

But two shifts could change the balance. First, Facebook is aggressively pushing new ad tool developments that offer one-click targeting and auto-optimized A/B tests. Second, tech literacy is on the rise among small merchants: 15 million small businesses now have Facebook Pages; 8 million businesses use Facebook’s Page Manager app; 300,000 Pages have paid for Promoted Posts; and 2.5 million posts have been promoted since the product launched in June.

Facebook hopes these trends can meet in the middle and bring enough little budgets to the social network to make a huge impact on its bottom line.