St. Louis Tapped As First City In Facebook Tour To Help Small Businesses Hone Digital Skills

By Lisa Brown
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While Facebook usage is growing, of the more than 70 million small businesses that use its service, only 6 million advertise on the social media platform. A new initiative by Facebook hopes to increase the number of business owners using Facebook advertising.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A team of Facebook staffers plans to come to St. Louis in 2018 in a bid to help small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations sharpen their digital skills both on and off the social media platform.

St. Louis will be the first stop in a 30-city tour, dubbed “Facebook Community Boost,” the social media platform’s representatives told the Post-Dispatch.

Other cities Facebook plans to visit in 2018 are Houston, Albuquerque, Des Moines and Greenville, S.C. The website for the program is facebook.com/tellcommunityboost.

Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with small business owners in the Cortex innovation district in St. Louis on Thursday to announce the new initiative. Zuckerberg is wrapping up a U.S. tour of businesses and other sites this week that’s part of his goal to visit all 50 states in 2017.

“I’ve visited a lot of communities this year and one theme I’ve found is that strong small businesses create strong communities,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page Thursday. “That’s because small businesses create jobs, provide services, and bring people together.”

Facebook previously held free one-day “Boost Your Business” training programs that attracted 500 participants in two Missouri cities last year: Farmington and Springfield. That program, which trained more than 60,000 small businesses in total, was part of more than $1 billion Facebook said it has invested in supporting small businesses since 2011.

With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Facebook co-sponsored research this summer that showed one in three U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses say they’ve built their business using Facebook and 42 percent of those surveyed said they hired more people due to growth since joining Facebook.

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