Facebook UK Launches SME Council to Support Businesses That Connect and Collaborate
Facebook has brought together fifteen rapidly-expanding small businesses from across the country to form its first UK SME Council – a platform to connect SMEs with Facebook executives, to better understand what people need to make their business thrive.
The Council will meet bi-annually to discuss progress on solutions and new challenges faced by the 70 million businesses from around the world that use Facebook to connect with consumers, and find new customers.
In the latest Future of Business Survey (an ongoing collaboration between Facebook, the OECD and World Bank) over half (52%) of UK businesses questioned said that they learn from each other, second only to online searches (72%), and are more confident as a result.
Of businesses that collaborate with their peers to share knowledge:
· Over half (53%) are confident in the outlook of their business for the next six months
· Half (48%) anticipate jobs will be created within their business in the next six months
· Over half (54%) are involved in international trade
We know that people are particularly interested in receiving support to navigate new technology, to better engage and excite their customers:
· Half of businesses questioned (50%) seek advice on Marketing (finding customers, targeting etc.) and Advertising (creating engaging content etc.)
· Over a third (39%) seek advice on digital marketing specifically
Ciaran Quilty, SME Director, Facebook, said: “There is no better way to understand the challenges that small businesses face, and the opportunities that exist to help them grow, than by talking to them directly. This council will not only give Facebook first-hand knowledge to improve our products and services on behalf of these important business owners, but also provide a forum for them to learn from other fast growing, digitally innovative companies in the UK.”
Olly Sewell, Senior Manager, SME EMEA, continued: “We’ve assigned a team dedicated in the UK to understand how businesses use Facebook and Instagram. Using those insights, we’ll work with business owners to help them evolve their approach and continue to tell their stories creatively, at scale – across all devices, and no matter where they are located.”
· Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness initiative, launched in May 2016, aims to help empower women to pursue their great business ideas by giving them access to advice, partnerships and events.
· This year, Facebook has joined forces with Enterprise Nation to support even more women business owners via #SheMeansBusiness; training will be delivered to over 10,000 women across the UK with a dedicated programme of nationwide events and online courses – with potential to unlock £45 million for the UK economy by the end of 2017.
· A dedicated team spread around the globe, the Creative Shop, collaborates with and coaches businesses and agencies to improve the quality of advertising on Facebook and to help increase the impact of campaigns.
KEY UK STATS
· 99% of UK companies are SMEs, which equates to more than 5.4 million businesses, creating nearly two thirds of all UK jobs in the private sector.
· There are now 2.4 million active small business pages on Facebook in the UK.
· 93% of those businesses use Facebook’s mobile app, and 50% are using video on their Facebook Pages to express themselves and to develop even more creative content.
· In the UK, 80% of people on Facebook are connected to a small business.
· More than 300 million people on Facebook from around the world are connected to a small business here in the UK.
KEY GLOBAL STATS
· More than 70 million small business around the world actively use Facebook Pages, and 8 million have Profiles on Instagram, because they’re free, easy to use and work well on mobile.
· Over 85% of active business Pages use mobile and 40% of active advertisers have created a Facebook ad on mobile.
· Consumers are engaging: on Instagram for example, 80% of people follow a business.
· In October 2016 alone, over 3 million small businesses posted a video (organic posts and ads) on Facebook.