Facebook connects with small business users through a series of boot camps

‘Face-to-Facebook’ sessions let the social network connect one on one.

Nobody disputes Facebook’s reach. With 1.4 billion monthly active users, no other social network comes close to Facebook’s audience. Among those are 30 million small businesses with an established Facebook presence. However, the company had made virtually no effort to connect with small businesses. That left business on the table: The neglect of small business meant millions weren’t aware of the benefits of Facebook’s business features, including the paid advertising at the heart of the social network’s business model. Of the 30 million small businesses maintaining pages, only 1 million were buying ads. To address this gap in its outreach, Facebook scheduled live boot camps that featured expert-led presentations, panels, and workshops. Facebook also partnered with services on which small businesses depend, such as QuickBooks, LegalZoom, and Square. Every boot camp was a sellout; ultimately, 4,000 small-business representatives participated, resulting in (among other things) an increase in ad spending from small businesses. Facebook was savvy in announcing the boot camps, scheduling the announcement during National Small Business Week, leading to significant media buzz that helped get the attention of the audience Facebook wanted to attract. Participants got a $50 ad credit; 20 percent of those receiving the credit activated it within five days of the event. Participant feedback showed 98 percent found the events helpful and worth the time spent at the boot camp. For an innovative approach to activating a mostly dormant stakeholder group, we’re delighted to present Facebook and its partner, Access Communications, Ragan’s 2015 PR Daily Award for Best Event Marketing. Read about all the winning entries in the 2015 PR Daily Awards here. For more information on all of the award programs, visit our awards hub.


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