The accelerated digital adoption as a result of the pandemic has made it critical for small businesses to swiftly pivot from offline to online in order to survive and grow. Acknowledging the support the micro and small businesses need in order to recover from the pandemic, Facebook today announced that it has rolled out a dedicated offline to online SMB Guide and other new resources to help make this journey frictionless for them.
The offline to online SMB Guide for India is free and publicly available but Facebook is also proactively reaching out to 9 million small businesses across the country to ensure it reaches the businesses who need it the most. The Guide has been designed to provide a step-by-step direction on how the smallest of businesses can build a digital presence quickly, and reach potential customers online. It covers Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and key themes such as building an online presence, mobile storytelling, social media advertising, and creative and performance strategies. The Guide is available in Hindi as well as in English in order to support a large number of businesses across distinct geographies.
Archana Vohra, Director Small and Medium Businesses, Facebook India, said, “Facebook is committed to the economic recovery of small businesses. We understand the impact the pandemic has had on their operations, and how critical it is for them to move online and leverage digital for reaching new customers and growing in these times. Our new resources are geared to helping the smallest of businesses across geographies to move from offline to online with minimum effort. While the offline to online SMB Guide is publicly available, we are proactively reaching out to 9 million small businesses across India to ensure timely support.”
Facebook has also been committed to extending the right skilling support to small businesses through the pandemic. The company is rolling out the next leg of ‘Boost with Facebook’, Facebook’s flagship skilling and learning program for scaling young businesses. The program went virtual earlier this year, and is now going vernacular, and will be delivered primarily in Hindi through Facebook Live sessions. One of the key themes discussed during Boost with Facebook will be how small businesses can build for Diwali and the festive season beyond it. To provide comprehensive support during the festive season, Facebook has also launched ‘Season of Support’, a dedicated resource to boost business and build sales for small businesses during this time. The resource enables small businesses to seek support from Facebook’s expert team and also utilize personalized resources to help them reach their desired goals. Quick courses under ten minutes and simple guides packed with insights on building an online presence, keeping one’s audience engaged, and increasing sales will be made available so that businesses can seize the season.
These resources are in addition to the series of tools, resources, and initiatives that Facebook India has rolled out for small businesses since March in order to help them navigate the pandemic. Recently Facebook had announced a grant of US$ 4.3 million (Rs 32 crore) in order to support Indian SMBs with funding at this crucial time. This was part of the US$ 100 million global grant for small businesses across 30 countries. To help small businesses impacted by COVID-19, Facebook and Instagram have also launched capabilities for businesses to drive discovery and sale of Gift Cards. Customers can discover Gift Cards on Facebook and Instagram and purchase them on the third-party platforms The key benefit for small businesses is that it offers a way to reach more potential customers online, enabling businesses to get cash support when they need it the most.