Facebook Hit 5 Million Advertisers By Turning Users Into Marketers – Forbes (Apr 10, 2017)
Facebook is using a milestone of 5 million advertisers to talk about its efforts to attract small and medium-sized businesses as customers, and it appears Sheryl Sandberg has been doing the rounds talking to various publications about the effort. They key points here are that this number has been growing rapidly – up from 4 million last September and 3 million just over a year ago – and that it’s still just a fraction of the 65 million businesses that have Pages on Facebook. Facebook’s big advantage here is that building websites is the sort of thing no small business wants to do because it’s either hard or costly (or both) to build and maintain, and the results often aren’t that great anyway, so using a Page instead has enormous advantages – it’s easy to build and maintain without any technical knowledge, and it’s in the place where your customers likely already spend a lot of time each day. Adding very targetable advertising on top is therefore an easy sell for businesses who already use their Pages as one of their main ways to attract and communicate with customers, and much of Facebook’s growth over the last few years has come from getting deeper and deeper into that base of companies already using Facebook to promote themselves organically. Twitter, by contrast, has suffered recently in part because it hasn’t been able to break through into this segment and therefore has had to focus on the larger advertisers rather than enabling a much longer tail of more automated buying by smaller businesses, hence its very high sales and marketing cost relative to revenues (over a third of revenue vs. 13-15% at Facebook over the past year).
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