I stumbled upon this story in the LATimes a few days ago on Facebook and small business marketing:
Charles Nelson, president of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the Beverly Hills baker to the stars, doesn’t have a Facebook profile. Nelson, who works seven days a week, has no time for chatting online with Facebook friends.
But Nelson is logged on to Facebook all the time. That’s because more than 70,000 people have declared themselves fans of Sprinkles’ Facebook page, Facebook is not just for friends anymore. The free social networking site — blocked in many workplaces as a potential time-waster — is increasingly becoming an inexpensive marketing tool for small businesses.
Sprinkles is among a growing number of mom-and-pop businesses taking advantage of a relatively new program on Facebook, one that allows them to claim their name, become visible even to folks who aren’t on the site, and stay in close contact with their customers. The business, in effect, can act like any other person on Facebook, posting status updates and seeing what its fans are doing.
Facebook doesn’t break out figures for small businesses but says it has 1.4 million business “pages,” with an average of 100 fans per page.
The story provides anecdotal evidence of the SMB Facebook adoption trend we tried to assert with the study (“engaged SMBs”) that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.