Facebook is launching a five-city summer tour to help educate small business owners about the platform and its advertising options. It’s called “Facebook Fit” (bootcamp for small business).
The half-day seminars will also feature presentations from Legal Zoom, Intuit (QuickBooks) and Square. Part of the day will be devoted to Facebook education and Q&A. There will also be a local business owner panel in each city. The other sessions will discuss small business (SMB) finance, legal and accounting issues.
Here’s the program:
- Getting Started: Start using Facebook for your business
- In–store Sales: Optimize Facebook to bring more people into your store
- Online Sales: Use Facebook to increase sales on your website
- Intuit Quickbooks: Six tips to grow your business
- Square: Learn how to increase sales
- LegalZoom: Legal help for your small business
Each city will feature two identical five-hour seminars. There’s a $25 registration fee but the company will also be giving away $50 in Facebook advertising credits.
Google did something broadly similar (“Google U”) when, years ago, it was trying to reach more SMBs in the early days of AdWords. Periodically over the years it has presented regional and in-person “how-to” seminars for business owners. However the company has now developed a dual SMB advertiser acquisition strategy: a network of resellers to reach the millions of SMBs who won’t self-serve and Google AdWords Express for those that will.
Facebook previously revealed that it had 25 million small businesses with Pages on the site. Surveys argue that between 50 percent and more than 70 percent of US SMBs have a presence on Facebook. The effectiveness of that presence is another matter.
That’s part of what this seminar is intended to address.