Facebook will hold a series of small business events in the UK – aiming to cover 3,000 SMEs in five cities over two weeks. There will be two sessions each day in the following cities:
Tuesday June 30 – Cardiff
Thursday July 2 – Birmingham
Tuesday July 7 – Edinburgh
Wednesday July 8 – Leeds
Thursday July 9 – Manchester
The project will also cover the US, with half-day events in Nashville, Minneapolis, Boston and San Diego spanning June to October, to further widen its reach. The ‘Boost Your Business’ tour will be in partnership with other tech companies MailChimp, Shopify, Visa and Zenefits. It previously held five ‘Facebook Fit’ small business boot camps in 2014, to help smaller advertisers. Following that, the inaugural Facebook SME Bootcamp arrived in Europe at the start of 2015. It took place in London where Real Business attended and spoke to SMB regional director Ciaran Quilty, who revealed why small businesses are of such importance to the social network. Facebook explained that the new programmes will particularly cater to the 2m businesses that are active advertisers, but also mentioned that many businesses will benefit on the social network without buying ads too. Creating a presence on Facebook, “is a powerful asset in its own right,” said Jonathan Czaja, Facebook’s director of small business for North America. The social media networking company already enjoys significant advertising revenue from large corporate companies, and is constantly looking for ways to further boost its strong small business contingent. Facebook’s ad revenue for Q1 2015 was up 46 per cent to $3.32bn, with mobile accounting for nearly three-quarters of total ad sales at 73 per cent. Read more on Facebook:
The focus of the sessions will primarily be educational – helping small businesses grow their presence online – while using the opportunity to explore the benefits of Facebook ads alongside other event partner services. Facebook’s vice president of small business, Dan Levy, said the initiative reflected the company’s “continuing commitment,” to investing in small business education. “Not only will you find out how to get started with your page on Facebook, you’ll also learn how to run a direct response campaign, how to build your brand and how to drive in-store traffic online,” he added. Levy said that the tour should be a good opportunity for local entrepreneurs and small business owners to network and bounce ideas off one another. The tour will also encompass mini pop-up mini-sessions including Ontario, Canada, and several California opportunities. Further locations will also cover Europe, Asia and South America. This announcement follows the launch of Facebook’s new online chat support – a service it hopes will cater towards businesses in the US, UK and Ireland that advertise on the site, with wider rollout anticipated for later in 2015. It’s billed as offering live, individual support provided by a trained Facebook “ad specialist”. Elsewhere, the social giant has also targeted small firms with learning centres both online and in the real world, having introduced the Learn How and Blueprint products for entrepreneurs and marketers in March.By Rebecca Smith
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