Helping Small Businesses Succeed in a Mobile World

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Facebook has reached the milestone of more than 5 million advertisers, with more and more small businesses worldwide and in South Africa turning to Facebook and Instagram to help them grow. In addition, Facebook now has more 65 million businesses using Facebook Pages and 8 million with Profiles on Instagram.

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

“We need to invest in the future of small businesses because they are the engine of economic growth in South Africa,” says Abi Williams, Facebook’s Sales Manager for Small and Medium Businesses in Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “Our Future of Business Survey shows small businesses want to create new jobs in the next six months. Giving them the ability to take mobile, personalised marketing to our global community will help them unlock their potential and reach new markets.”

With Facebook and Instagram, small businesses can:


With the Ads Manager App, small businesses can manage ads and get insights in just a few taps. They can see at a glance how their ads for Pages are performing, or see a snapshot of how their ad account performed this week compared to the previous week. Improved navigation allows them easily switch between their accounts and Pages. They can even select up to five ads and compare them side by side. 

The app now recommends actions advertisers can take to increase ad performance—and makes it easy for them to do so in one click. For example, Facebook will notify the advertiser when a high performing ad is about to end and offer one-click option to extend the schedule for another one, three or seven days.


Facebook’s Mobile Studio is a new way to show businesses how easy it is to create great ads using only a mobile device. All businesses can improve their creative, and ultimately, the efficacy of their ads with mobile apps and tools—and with Mobile Studio, they’ll learn to do them things in minutes. These important tips to help bring businesses to life without eating up time, energy or resources.  


Blueprint eLearning courses give businesses the power to learn best practices for advertising on Facebook’s family of apps and services at their own pace. The online education platform is available in ten languages and today more than 1 million unique users, half being small businesses, use Blueprint.

Some top courses include, Facebook Terminology, A/B Testing, and Successful Campaigns Best Practices. In fact, almost 2.5 million eLearning courses have been taken by people across more than 150 countries, and 50% of total course enrolments are taken by small or medium business owners and employees.


Responding to customers quickly is key to delivering good customer service but it can be hard for small businesses to keep up with the volume of communications. In November 2016, Facebook announced (…) a single inbox to manage communications across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram within the Pages Manager App. It is expanding these capabilities to desktop.


Facebook has made it easier to run global campaigns from anywhere, with new solutions that help businesses connect with new customers:

  • International Lookalikes can help businesses find new people that look like their best customers in other countries. 
  • Worldwide/Global Region targeting can help businesses set up a global campaign and find efficient conversions. 
  • Country Snapshots and Insights Playbook can help businesses create customised campaigns in each country.

Natural hair treatments company, Afro Botanics, is one example of a small South African business that is enjoying strong return on investment from Facebook advertising.  “Facebook is only social channel we use to build traffic and grow our fan base,” says founder, Ntombenhle Khathwane. “Our video engagements on Facebook have really helped us to grow our business and attract new customers.”

Furniturespot, an online platform that connects local furniture makers to sell bespoke furniture, also uses Facebook to advertise. “Three quarter of our website traffic comes from Facebook, delivering 65% growth month-on-month,” says owner, Wouter van Bockel. “Facebook is a powerful tool for building a community.”

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