Maybe I’m the last to know this, but Facebook is doing feet-on-the-street outreach to small business owners in the U.S., and has apparently been doing them for the past year or so.
The latest one happened on Saturday in the small town of Dixon, Illinois, as part of the community’s monthly Second Saturdays event. There’s an event page that invites local business owners to “join us for an informal Q&A and learn tips and tricks on how to use Facebook with visiting Facebook team member, Kirsten Bury” and goes on to say that the visit is “a great opportunity to learn direct from the experts on how to boost your small business, non-profit or community group presence on Facebook.”
Facebook talked about Dixon’s small business community in its own article from Friday, which included these stats that I’ve never seen shared before:
- There are more than 2 billion connections between local businesses and people.
- In an average week, there are over 645 million views of, and 13 million comments on, local business Facebook Pages.
- Approximately 70% of monthly active users in the U.S. and Canada are connected to a local business on Facebook.
In that first bullet point, “connections” equals “likes,” a Facebook spokesperson tells me. We already know that there are about 15 million Pages (not just business pages, though), but those stats above are new to me.
In early 2011, Google launched its Get Your Business Online program, which involved feet-on-the-street visits that helped small business owners establish (or improve) a web presence via Google products and services. The GYOB effort eventually expanded to all 50 states and, as far as I know, wrapped up late last year. (It also operates outside the US, by the way.)
Interesting to see Facebook doing what looks like much the same thing: sending people out to local business owners to shake hands and get them more active and visible on Facebook.