Presenting at the very first Facebook SMB Bootcamp

Facebook is growing.

I don't just mean its number of monthly active users (which is now over 1 billion people), I'm talking about Facebook as a company. They are growing and maturing in ways that are great news for advertisers and small business owners. With the recent much-publicised IPO, many investors voiced concerns about Facebook's ability to monetise and Facebook has responded by putting serious effort into attracting advertisers from both ends of the spectrum, from big brands to small business.

What does that mean for Australian small business owners? It means initiatives like the Facebook Small Business Bootcamp.

Cairns was selected to host the very first Small Business Bootcamp, run by Facebook on Friday at the Rydges Tradewinds. I was asked by Facebook to present sessions in two of the seven speaking slots, one on "How to create a Facebook Ad campaign for your business", and another on "How to sell products and services on Facebook".

If you couldn't make it, check out this video of some highlights from the second session.

The first session was a very hands-on workshop. Delegates setup their laptops and we went through the process of creating an ad campaign specific to their business. In spite of some problems with the hotel internet connection, the workshop was helpful to many delegates as they asked questions and discovered how to target ads for best ROI. All delegates received complimentary $50 advertising credit.

A couple of takeaway points are:

  • Think before you act! Sitting down and working out a business marketing strategy first, will result in you creating much more powerful ads with better returns. If you are not comfortable with marketing ideas, consider speaking to a consultant for assistance with your strategy development.
  • Facebook Ads are not a set-and-forget thing. Always monitor your ad statistics to keep track of your return on investment. If you are not seeing appropriate return, change what you are doing!

After lunch, we got stuck into the topic of selling products and services on Facebook. Whether you are selling a physical product (shopping cart), a booking (accom, event tickets, tours, etc), or a service (enquiry form), the principles of selling are the same. Optimise the usability of your website, to increase your conversion rate, and then utilise the incredible power of Facebook recommendations to build reach and trust, to stand out from your competitors.

A couple of takeaway points are:

  • Fix your website! Look at your website with a critical eye and remember there is no point in having a website that "looks great" if it is not making sales. A redesign might be in order to make sure it is ready to entice customers into buying your product. There is no point putting all that effort into generating traffic with social media if it won't result in sales.
  • Monitor your statistics! If you are not seeing appropriate return, change what you are doing!

It was great to be a part of the first ever Small Business Bootcamp, and we are excited about the direction Facebook is taking, and new opportunities for Small Businesses. It was also great to see a photo of our session on the official Facebook Marketing page. The sessions were a success, and Visual Obsession has had some great positive feedback. If you enjoyed the sessions, let us know in the comments below, and if you would like a copy of my presentation slides, you can see that here: