The upcoming week is the annual small business week, in which entrepreneurs go to “information
sessions” on topics like marketing online and our current health-care laws. It is an opportunity for large
corporations and politicians to voice their appreciation for the small time mom and pop stores. The
outcome is an unwieldy mixture—there is no problem in spending a week focusing solely on the small
business, but the time is also rife with sponsors of a political and corporate nature with intentions of
solely promoting themselves.
Facebook can now be regarded as one of the many suitors of Main Street. The social media
juggernaut stated that it will be hosting a series of “boot camp-style events” intended for owners of
small businesses. The purpose is to bring experts in small business together with local entrepreneurs
in a discussion of using Facebook as a marketing technique. Samplings of the big companies to be
represented are: Intuit, Square, and LegalZoom as well as companies looking to sell their services to
small businesses. The program, christened Facebook Fit, will be traveling to the cities of New York,
Miami, Chicago, Austin, and Menlo Park, California.
The meetings are planned for June through August and do not actually overlap with the National
Small Business Week, but the two events are akin to each other. While business owners acquire
training, Facebook earns a bit of good will as well as prospective consumers. An estimated 25 million
small business owners operate their own Facebook pages, says Dan Levy, director of small business
at the corporation. Even those business moguls, that are exasperated with the various changes in
how Facebook treats postings, tend to also see it as a good means of reaching patrons. According to
Levy, an estimated one million pay for ads each month. To heighten those numbers, Facebook is now
charging $25 for its boot camp sessions as well as rebating the amount of $50 in credit for Facebook
advertisements. There is only so much space for business owners in each session, so the program is
limiting those who get to upgrade their pages to ones with paying advertisers. The program is a stepping
stone in showing Main Street America that a large corporation like Facebook, cares.