The social media company said Thursday it’s adding features to its small business sites that allow companies to search for and advertise to customers in other countries. Businesses will be able to choose which countries they want to target, and can aim at customers in specific regions or the entire world. The features will be available to small businesses around the world.
Sixty million businesses have Facebook pages, and more than 1 billion people using the social media site are connected to at least one business in another country, the company said. In the U.S., more than 60 percent of Facebook users are connected to a company in another country.
Catalysts for the expansion included data that showed Facebook users and small businesses are increasingly engaging in cross-border transactions, the company said. It also has had requests from companies for more tools to help them expand.
“The No. 1 thing they want is the ability to reach more customers,” said Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of the Menlo Park, California-based company.
Facebook is also providing online seminars and a handbook to help businesses that need to learn about global marketing issues. Among them: having the ability to provide enough products for any stepped-up demand, and challenges like shipping goods to other countries.