Why a Minneapolis Small Business Is Getting a Lift From Facebook's IPO

Why is Facebook mentioning a 6-person photography business in its SEC filing?
Business Writers
February 06, 2012

The most talked about IPO in history–that would be Facebook's, of course–has given a nod in the filing to two other businesses.

One is Procter & Gamble–and the other is a small business in the Minneapolis area.

Mark Zuckerberg's social networking giant named CM Photographics, a six-person wedding photography business, as an example of Facebook's "relevance" to the market.

Reads the filing: "CM Photographics, a wedding photography business based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, used Facebook ads to reach the users it cared most about: women aged 24 to 30 living near Minneapolis who shared their relationship status on Facebook as 'engaged.' Over 12 months, CM Photographics generated a significant increase in revenue after running a $600 advertising campaign on Facebook."

Chris Meyer, who owns the company, told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal that Facebook's vice president of global marketing called to ask him whether CM could be cited in the SEC filing.

"I think my exact quote was 'Duh,'" Meyer told Minneapolis-St. Paul's Fox9 TV.

Meyer wasn't surprised when Facebook called. The company has held up CM several times as an example of how Facebook benefits small businesses. In September, when Facebook announced it would give away $10 million in free advertising to small businesses, it said CM Photographics generated about $40,000 in revenue from $600 spent on a Facebook ad.

"The beauty of Facebook is that it allowed me to connect with exactly my right demographic," Meyer told Fox9 TV. "Google can't offer the narrow demographics that Facebook did."

Meyer said he'd wasted "a ton of money on print ads and spent hundreds of dollars on [Google's] Ad Words" without so much as a single lead.

But he spent a couple of weeks tweaking his Facebook ad, and immediately started getting leads in the door.

"They were qualified leads because they'd be able to check out my work on my Facebook profile," he said.

His advice for small businesses: "With Facebook you can start really small. You can have a $5 a day budget and you can track it."

Meyer also is a fan of the free fan page he created on Facebook. In January 2010, he told ABC that 60 percent of his business came from the page. He uploads photos from the weddings he shoots, and guests pictured are invited to become fans of his page. If they do, they're automatically updated daily on his work and any special offers, such as a free engagement session if you book him for a wedding. The majority wind up booking him, he said.

What has your experience been with Facebook fan pages? Have you tried an ad? 

Image credit: CM Photographics