Facebook: We Have 18M Local Biz Pages

Facebook logoEarlier this afternoon Facebook released impressive Q2 earnings: $1.8 billion total ($1.6 in advertising revenue). The company beat expectations, especially with a big mobile number: 41% of total mobile ad revenue ($656 million).

During the conference call Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that the company now had 18 million local business pages on a global basis. However most of those pages are likely associated with local businesses in North America and Europe.

This is a massive number though it doesn’t speak to how many SMBs are “active” or how frequently they update pages. The company previously reported that it had more than 1 million advertisers — a large percentage of which are local businesses. This number has doubled year over year.

Facebook has been working hard to simplify advertising, especially for local business owners. Sandberg was a key advocate of the local group within Google for years before joining the social network.

There’s no question that Facebook is in an almost unique position regarding small business marketing. There has never been this kind of adoption of a digital marketing solution on this kind of scale by SMBs or their surrogates (e.g., small agencies/webmasters).

The challenge for Facebook now is to convert more of those SMB users into advertisers. And the challenge — still — for SMBs and those serving them is to create at least partly automated (and scalable) solutions that enable local businesses to make more effective use of Facebook as a marketing platform.

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