About 15 lakh small and medium businesses from India are using Facebook to reach out to customers, the social networking giant said on Wednesday.
Facebook, which is the world's largest social networking site with over one billion users globally, has more than 40 million (four crore) active small business pages on its platform. "India has more than 1.5 million (15 lakh) SMB Pages and is growing at over 70 per cent year-on-year," a Facebook official told PTI.
In June last year, the US-based firm had said it had nine lakh SMBs on board from India, while the global SMB userbase was at 3 crore.
With social media becoming an important part of life, especially for youngsters, consumers are actively using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to get feedback on products and services.
Businesses are looking at tapping this information and many of them, especially the large consumer product companies, have already established their digital presence.
Companies are looking at leveraging Internet to reach out to a huge number of consumers in a cost-effective way and at the same time strike a more personal bond with them through targeted marketing.
As of 2010-11, India had about 311.52 lakh MSMEs, providing employment to around 732.17 lakh with a fixed investment of Rs 7.74 lakh crore and production worth about Rs 10.96 lakh crore.
India is the second largest market for Facebook globally, after the US, with over 112 million users. As of March 31, 2015, Facebook had 1.44 billion monthly active users globally.
"There are now more than 40 million active small business Pages on Facebook. As that community continues to grow, we are committed to helping each business achieve its goals," the official said.
The company had, earlier this year, launched Ads Manager app and built creative and educational resources for small business marketers.
"Now we are announcing two new ways for Facebook marketers to connect with us: our 2015 Boost Your Business programme and online chat support," the official said.
As part of the Boost Your Business programme, Facebook will connect with small businesses around the world to connect with them on ways they can grow their business.
"These events are focussed on bringing small businesses together to share best practices and hear about the latest marketing strategies and tools. Kicking off in US cities, the tour would be also coming to APAC cities in Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Singapore," the official said.
Besides, the company is also introducing a new feature, where businesses advertising on Facebook would have access to one-on-one support through live online chat.
"By clicking 'Get Help' on the Facebook for Business website, advertisers will be able chat and screen share with a trained Ads specialists to get answers. Rollout have begun in in the US, the UK, and Ireland with APAC coming soon," the official said.