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Meta’s Small Business Studios Aim to Make Social Media Content Creation Easier

Why is this important:

  • Being able to connect with customers online and through social media has become a crucial marketing tool for small businesses.
  • Nearly 40% of small businesses surveyed cited a lack of digital marketing knowledge and tools as a major challenge for their businesses. Almost a third said they struggled to create a visible brand online.
  • Small businesses can now use free online workshops and in-person events to improve their social media presence.

Meta, the social media giant formerly known as Facebook, reached out to small business owners last year to learn more about the challenges they faced. It turned out that one of the biggest problems for business owners was figuring out how to create a viable social media presence and learning how to use it as a marketing tool.

This input led Meta this summer to unveil Meta Boost Small Business Studios, an initiative aimed at giving business owners tips and tools to improve their social media marketing.

A survey by online marketing technology company Semrush confirms that social media skills are a top concern for small business owners. This survey found that 40% of owners fear they lack digital marketing knowledge and experience, and a third said building a brand presence online is one of their biggest challenges.

The Meta initiative includes ongoing online courses and support, as well as free in-person events for small business owners in five cities across the country.

“We really saw that our small businesses needed guidance on how to create engaging content and develop a creative strategy,” Judy Toland, vice president, global client marketing, at Meta, told CO—.

Some 200 million businesses currently use Meta’s free platforms and tools to connect with customers, of which about 10 million advertise on the platforms for pay, Toland said.

Short virtual workshops on topics ranging from building a business presence on Facebook to creating Instagram Reels videos

Questions businesses have about using Meta platforms can range from the basics – How should I publish? What should I post? – to more complicated queries about video creation or digital advertising budgets.

They encompass “all the things that you, as a small business owner, may not have the time or the means to acquire, but would like to be able to understand and better use our free and paid tools,” said Toland.

Meta has launched an online virtual learning center with resources such as:

  • Workshop Build your brandwhich focuses on how to establish a presence on Facebook and Instagram and how to use these platforms to connect with customers;
  • School of reelslessons on using the short video platform on Facebook and Instagram;
  • photography workshop, with advice on how to create the best images to display on mobile devices and as marketing tools; and
  • Individual Virtual Assistance Sessions, offering live customer support from Meta experts. Business owners can register for 30-minute sessions.

All virtual lessons are designed to provide answers to specific problems in a short period of time. “They’re 10 minutes, 16 minutes, 7 minutes,” Toland said. “We know from our research, and just talking to the small businesses we engage with across the country, that time is running out – they need to learn something right away, very quickly,” she said. .

“We really saw that our small businesses needed guidance on how to create engaging content and develop a creative strategy.”

– Judy Toland, Vice President, Global Customer Marketing, Meta

Added in-person events where local business owners share success stories

In addition to virtual workshops, Meta decided to host free in-person trainings and networking events to help small businesses learn from others in their communities.

Meta has already hosted in-person events in Detroit and Columbus, and has scheduled events in Kansas City, Missouri on September 21-22, Austin, Texas on September 28-29, and San Diego, Calif. October 12 and 13. .

The first in-person event in Detroit drew a capacity crowd, Toland said. A particularly popular session, she said, was the “How I Did It” panel, where local business owners shared success stories of how they built their brands online.

In addition to virtual workshops, Meta decided to host free in-person trainings and networking events to help small businesses learn from others in their communities. — Meta

Tips for entrepreneurs looking to gain traction for a fledgling business idea on social media

For business owners or entrepreneurs with a brand idea who are just starting to build a social media presence, Toland shared these tips:

  • Create a professional page for your business, or create a page for your idea, and ask people in your social network to like the page and interact with it.
  • If your idea or business targets a certain community, join related communities or groups on Meta platforms to share ideas and publicize your business.
  • Use Small Business Studios and Reels School lessons to learn how to create engaging videos that will attract customers. Create videos that explain your business, show the personal side, and be authentic.

“If people don’t know about your business, then it’s very difficult to grow your business,” Toland said. For some new homeowners, the first hurdle, she says, “is just getting started.”

“In some cases, they just don’t know where to start. And so these small business studios are here to help,” she said.

Story by Joan Verdon, CO, United States Chamber of Commerce

CO— aims to inspire you from the best respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your personal situation.

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