Sheryl Sandberg's Pitch: Facebook Is the Future of Selling Online

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Sheryl Sandberg's Pitch: Facebook Is the Future of Selling Online
Image credit: Poets and Quants
Entrepreneur Staff
Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio
min read

Facebook wants to be the go-to resource when it comes to all things advertising and ecommerce -- for businesses large and small. That was the pitch Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave Tuesday at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual MIXX Conference and Expo, during Advertising Week in New York City. She participated in a panel discussion and press Q+A with Netscape co-founder, early Facebook investor and popular tech VC Marc Andreessen.

Sandberg cited Best Western as an example of Facebook's advertising potential. This spring, the hotel company created a Facebook app that allowed people to put together their "dream vacation" and share the app with their friends and family. The result? Best Western's sales jumped 20 percent during the period, Sandberg said.

But small businesses are also among Facebook's priorities, with approximately 7 million small companies using the network actively each month and about 3 million posting weekly or more. When it comes to advertising, small businesses often are looking for niche buyers in very specific locations, according to Sandberg. "No other platform is set for that like Facebook is," she said.

Related: How to Convert Facebook Fans Into Paying Customers

Facebook has been busy in the past few weeks rolling out a number of new advertising and sales solutions for businesses. Among them:

  • Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX), a new way of purchasing Facebook ads through real-time bidding.
  • Facebook Gifts, which allows users to send gifts to friends and family directly from birthday reminders or their timelines. A user picks a gift, pays with a credit card, the friend supplies his or her address and the gift is shipped. 

Starbucks, Magnolia Bakery and stuffed-animal maker Gund are among the first businesses participating in Facebook Gifts

Related: Facebook's 3 Biggest Ecommerce Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Users sharing products, services and special offers with the people they know on Facebook can drive sales because it's done by "real, authentic interactions," Sandberg said.

While some argue that Facebook users are too unsure about the company's privacy policies to hand over credit-card information, Sandberg stressed that Facebook does not sell user information. "There are 235 million gamers using credit cards to play games over Facebook," she said. "Those numbers are already big."

Have you tried any of Facebook's advertising tools? What were the results? Let us know in the comments below.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.