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Toledo Legal News - News Columbus chosen as one of four cities for Facebook's small business initiative

 

"Keep it Local Columbus."

That's the message Facebook plans to send after launching one of its four market campaigns in central Ohio on Tuesday.

The campaign will run through September to feature local small businesses and how the social network supports their operations.

"This is an integrated marketing campaign that celebrates the local businesses which make their cities special. We're launching 'Keep It Local' in Columbus, Ohio and three other markets," said Doug Frisbie, Facebook's global marketing director for small business. "This is an integrated marketing campaign that celebrates the local businesses which make their cities special. Throughout the campaign, we feature small business owners and their employees who remind their neighbors to 'keep it local' - a nod to the role small businesses play in defining their communities. We're looking forward to coming to Columbus to celebrate and support them in person."

Seventy-six percent of small businesses in Ohio said Facebook has helped their businesses increase sales and 71 percent said that Facebook allows them to find customers in other cities, states and countries, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult Research in partnership with Facebook and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The survey also noted that 44 percent of Ohio small businesses use Facebook to hire employees.

"Facebook gives a small business like us opportunity to reach a ton of people where we normally couldn't with our marketing budget," stated Dave Rigo of Watershed Distillery in Columbus.

Matt Wilcoxen of Johnson's Real Ice Cream said the social media platform has helped the company with its New Albany expansion.

"We had hundreds of followers before we opened the door and they immediately lined up. We owe that to Facebook, there's no doubt about it. It's the only way we communicated that," he said.

Other local businesses that will be featured in the campaign are Eddy's Chicken and Waffles, The Book Loft of German Village, Big Fun Columbus, Big Heads Barber Shop & Beauty Salon, Big Mamma's Burritos, Big Room Bar, Small Talk and Land-Grant Brewing Co.

In addition to the campaign, Facebook will host a "Facebook Community Boost" workshop at the Columbus Athenaeum Aug. 1 to Aug. 3. The event will help local small businesses to improve their company's digital presence on the platform.

The company stated from the same survey that nearly three in four businesses believe creating a social media presence for their company is important for growth but less than one in five report that their skills are excellent.

According to the survey, 85 percent of Columbus small business community reported that a candidate's digital skills were important, nearly twice than those that value candiadates that went to school.

Facebook has also added coursework about how to recruit talented staff - 57 percent of Columbus small business workers said they wanted to learn the subject.

BRANDON KLEIN, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

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