Here’s how Facebook wants to school businesses

Facebook Tuesday retooled its Facebook for Businesses splash page with an emphasis on educating small businesses on using its site.

The new splash page features step-by-step online guides aimed at helping small businesses understand and use Facebook Pages, ads, sponsored stories and the Facebook API. While not actually adding any new features, the retooled “online education center” is definitely overdue for a service that most companies have either been using for years or knew they had to use.

“Facebook allows small businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing –- word of mouth,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We created Facebook.com/business to make it even easier for people to reach these objectives and grow.”

It’s likely that the company wants to give businesses more of an incentive to enrich their relationship with Facebook rather than to venture out with Google’s new social service Google+ — which is preparing a business version of the service set to debut soon.

“It is really good to see all this info in one place. Facebook moves very quickly in many directions and it’s always good to see a consolidation point that isn’t written in geek speak,” said Brian Wallace, President of NowSourcing, which develops social media strategies for companies.

Wallace said he thinks Facebook’s new emphasis on education has more to do with Google’s revamp of its Google AdWords Express service (previously called Google Boost).

“I am seeing a great deal of interest for local business on two major platforms: Google Boost and Facebook’s foray into branding for small businesses. Both are great in terms of targeting for local business plus keyword/category (for Google) and interests (for Facebook),” Wallace said. “It’s interesting to see Facebook and Google battle it out for the small business owner’s dollar.  And I don’t blame them.”

Google’s AdWords Express is also stepping up its game to grab small businesses. The company set up phone support earlier this month to help assist business owners with advertising.


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