Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is kicking off a program in March in St. Louis that aims to help small businesses grow and equip them with digital skills to compete. The Facebook Community Boost program includes stops in 30 U.S. cities in 2018.
New research conducted by Morning Consult surveyed more than a thousand local citizens. Findings include:
•In St. Louis, while managers cite many digital skills as critical for business growth, they often lack these skills themselves.
•A gap between the digital skills job seekers know they need and the skills they feel they have.
•St. Louis businesses get the importance of a social media presence when it comes to growth, with 62% saying that creating a social media presence is very important for business growth.
Additionally, Facebook and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report, examining the impact of technology on small business:
•49% of small businesses on the platform say Facebook is an essential tool for running their business
•40% of them say Facebook has helped them hire additional employees
•58% of those businesses on Facebook say that Facebook allows them to find customers in other cities, states, and countries
•73% of them say that an individual’s digital and social media skills are an important consideration when hiring, more than where a candidate went to school
Facebook will work with St. Louis organizations to create the event:
•For job seekers, Facebook will provide training to help improve their digital and social media skills.
•For business owners, the program will offer ways they can expand their digital footprint and find new customers around the corner and around the globe.
•For people getting online for the first time or wanting to support their community, Facebook will provide training on digital literacy and online safety. The program we’ll also help community members use technology to bring people together, with features like Events and Groups.
The official dates for Facebook Community Boost St. Louis are March 26 – 30. The location is unknown at this time.