What do you do if you’re Facebook?
Amid the waves of criticism over the way in which Facebook data has reportedly been misused to effectively penetrate people’s thoughts and target their psychological weak points, The Social Network is tasked with not only weathering the storm, but also keeping their ongoing initiatives moving, which includes getting more people to use Facebook more often.
So what does Facebook do?
They announce the expansion of their ‘Community Boost’ program, which aims to give people hands-on lessons on how to make best use of the platform.
That’s right – with mistrust of the platform at peak, what better time hit the road and explain to people why Facebook is so beneficial?
Of course, that’s a skeptical perspective – the truth is that for all of Facebook’s potential failings, they have been able to provide significant benefits to many users, and many businesses, particularly smaller operators.
Facebook’s sheer size and ubiquity provides an unmatched platform, which many have been able to use to advantage, and their Community Boost program aims to expand on this, with Facebook’s own small business team heading from town to town to provide education and insight.
Facebook’s even working to tailor the program for each region – heading into their first town, St. Louis (March 26th-29th), Facebook says that they’ve worked with the Savvy Coders and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to provide dedicated digital training, given that only 13% of small business owners in the region graded themselves as ‘excellent’ at digital marketing – an element which 84% of businesses acknowledged was important for future expansion.
Facebook’s Community Boost program is actually a great initiative, and it’s somewhat sad that the rollout has coincided with the latest controversy. Given the wide scale condemnation of The Social Network, you’d have to think that the company’s efforts won’t see the take up they would have had such issues not been present. That’s not to let Facebook off the hook for its data misuse problems, but local communities need digital training, and Facebook is best positioned to provide such, while the platform's also putting increased focus on local groups through their latest News Feed algorithm updates.
Definitely, smaller operators can benefit from such training – hopefully businesses owners will still head along to the lessons, despite the negative press around the company.
On this, Facebook has also announced the next eight US cities where the Facebook Community Boost program will visit.
- Buffalo, New York
- Columbus, Ohio
- Hampton, Virginia
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Helena, Montana
- Denver, Colorado
- East Palo Alto/Menlo Park, California
Dates are to be announced for these towns – you can see the full schedule for the program here.
As noted, it’s a good initiative from Facebook, it’s just a shame that the timing of the announcement has coincided with the latest issues. If you’re in the regions where Community Boost is visiting, it would be worth going along to sharpen up your digital knowledge.