‘Bringing the world closer together’ has always been a Facebook mantra. Their latest effort to that end involves empowering smaller communities who are yet to be integrated on the World Wide Web consortium. The goal is to show them the impact digital marketing can have on small businesses.
Scheduled to start in the beginning of 2018, the Facebook Community Boost team will visit at least 30 different US cities. They will engage with them on a one to one basis. Facebook’s target audience will constitute small-time entrepreneurs and the unemployed – with an aim to empower them with digital literacy.
More specifically, the company will look to teach these individuals ways in which they can use Facebook to make money. This involves –
Firstly, improving general digital and social media skills to boost chances of job procurement.
Secondly, provide tools and strategies for turning an idea into a successful and implementable business model.
Thirdly, offer ways to existing businesses for expanding and finding new potential customers using digital marketing tools.
Fourthly, teach first time users of Facebook about the value of crowd gathering tools such Facebook events. This will help them organise and meet other likeminded individuals.
“We aspire to help more communities across America – particularly those who need help along with refining their digital skills to improve their job prospects,” wrote Facebook VP of small business, Dan Levy, on a company blog post.
The announcement comes in the wake of allegations against Facebook for its role in aiding Russia based groups to spread divisive messages in the run-up to 2016 elections. While the cynics are already calling this an exercise in PR, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company is trying to keep its head down and get down to making a positive impact on the community.
According to a senior Facebook executive, the success of the Community Boost effort across the US will give them the confidence to take it up elsewhere and possibly in countries like India. In fact, real change can take place only by connecting small communities not just in the US, but across the globe as well.
With the advent of social media, digital marketing can become a powerful tool for small enterprises. Facebook in its initiative to make that happen is helping shape a level playing field for businesses of all sizes.