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Facebook Announces 30 City ‘Community Boost’ Program for SMBs

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Over the past few years Facebook has done considerable local digital training for small businesses (“Boost Your Business“). These events have been like a company specific version of LSA’s Digital Marketing Bootcamps. Now Facebook is launching a new multi-day program designed both for local businesses and individual workers seeking digital skills training.

The new program is called “Facebook Community Boost” and it will visit 30 cities across the US in 2018. The company said it would also involve various local organizations (to be named) in the project. The company also told me in email that the curriculum has yet to be fully developed and that it would do so in partnership with the local organizations.

There are several interesting aspects to this announcement:

  • It’s a more ambitious program than Boost Your Business (which has been mostly a success for the company)
  • It’s targeting not just business owners but individuals (and seeks to be a kind of job training workshop)
  • It’s longer than a single day

In its third quarter earnings call Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook has more than 6 million active advertisers and Instagram has over 2 million. (It’s not clear how many overlap but many certainly do.) He added, “the vast majority of these are small and medium-sized businesses.”

The Boost Your Business road show has connected with more than 60,000 local SMBs across the US, according to the company. Facebook also offers online training as well.

A 2016 study by Alignable found that roughly half of SMBs buy Facebook Ads and of this group 61% spend between $50 or less per month. However this “half of all SMBs spend money on Facebook” finding probably cannot be generalized to the entire SMB population.

Facebook said that there are 70 million business profiles on its platform, globally. Roughly 8 million (or somewhat less) are spending money on the platform today. That means 60 million or more are potentially “in the pipeline.”

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