Facebook & Bing’s Partnership – What It Means for Small Business

It’s not surprising to anyone with a Facebook account that recent news shows the time people spend on Facebook exceeds the time they spend on Google and Yahoo. The Bing Search Blog announced the extended search deal.

According to a Nielsen report, an average user spends 23 percent of their time surfing the Internet on social networks like Facebook. That number is up 77 percent from last year.

Is the social media trend affecting how people search for and buy different products? If it hasn’t yet, we’re probably well on our way.

When a person likes a product they tell others. When they don’t like something, they’ll probably pass that opinion on to others too. Users of social networks can send on their thoughts about a product with just a few clicks to many people at one time. One user posting a link or sharing a personal review can connect other social network users with products quickly so companies should be increasingly careful when introducing something new to the market.

Companies use collaborative filtering techniques to predict the preferences of their consumers.  Algorithms that use social network data to predict a consumer’s buying patterns can help businesses predict a buyer’s preferences for products and services. These preferences are often influenced greatly by friends and family. So, combining Facebook and Bing gives users the chance to see advertised products and buy what their friends and family like while shortening their time spent researching. Additionally, with the introduction of Facebook Places, a small business has the same opportunity to reach their “local” targeted audience as big national advertisers. Facebook Advertising could be on the rise in the future.

Smart small business advertisers will make Facebook part of their marketing strategy. Bing advertisers that use Facebook data can expect a clear overlap between those who use the social network and those who do the buying.