Business development · 12 September 2016

Facebook launches three small business tools enabling international growth

Facebook
Over 1bn Facebook users are now connected to at least one small business in a foreign country.

Online social platform Facebook has launched three tools designed to make it easier for small business owners to connect with customers around the world.

The three tools include the so-called Lookalike Audiences, which aims to help business users reach customers in new countries. By enabling the upload of high-potential leads lists, online businesses can target new international customers that are similar to existing, domestic clients.

Facebook users will from now on also be able to target customers in certain areas of the world with region-specific ad campaigns, while also gaining access to online resources, including webinars and guides on international marketing, to help improve global small business campaign strategies.

In a statement, Facebook revealed that by launching the new tools, the online giant was responding to the growing number of users engaging with small businesses in cross-border transactions. Indeed, over one billion Facebook users are now connected to at least one small business in a foreign country.

A spokesperson for the company commented: “People engage with the things that matter to them on Facebook, even in other countries. We want to help all businesses grow internationally [and] we are introducing new resources and solutions to help them expand across the globe, from wherever they are.”

According to data collated by Facebook late last year, as many as 79 per cent of the UK population are now connected to at least one SME via the platform.

In an exclusive interview with Business Advice in December 2015, managing director at Facebook’s Small and Medium Business (SMB) team Olly Sewell further explained how the social platform aims to benefit entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“We’re aiming to be the first and best place for small businesses to manage online and mobile presence,” said Sewell. “Using our tools to apply the right business strategy, small business owners can continue to use Facebook to keep customers and attract new ones.”

Why are small businesses missing out on export opportunities by failing to use social media to target overseas customers? 

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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