Over the last decade, businesses have been increasingly building their presence online. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it a necessity to connect with customers digitally, resulting in restaurants taking online orders, shops creating digital storefronts, and gyms live-streaming workouts. Digital platforms have become a lifeline for many small businesses and continue to be essential to fuel economic growth for the foreseeable future.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are the backbone of Sri Lanka’s economy, accounting for more than 75 percent of all enterprises and contributing over 50 percent to the country’s GDP. With Avurudu around the corner, Facebook has unveiled #DigitalSaubhagya, an SMB recovery and transformation program created to inform and guide local entrepreneurs on how to use digital tools effectively for business growth.
With more people spending time on Facebook apps than ever before, the company is focusing on helping businesses keep the lights on, build online communities, and reach out to potential customers. There are free tools like Pages, Inbox, Messenger and Jobs that make running a business easier and save time for entrepreneurs, so they can focus on what’s most important: growing their business.
Getting started on Facebook or Instagram is easy. All you need is a good idea and a phone.
The first step is to open a Facebook Page or Instagram Business Profile that establishes a digital presence in minutes and gives the power to be discovered. The next step is to engage with customers online.
There are a few ways that customers connect with businesses they care about.
- Learn about the journeys of the owners and their brands
- Scroll through photos and videos and discover new products and offers
- Message a business with questions and buy products easily
- Learn about hours and location and book appointments
Regular posts and visually engaging content on Facebook pages and Instagram handles can help keep customers updated and interested. It is also important to respond to queries efficiently to build trust, and it can be managed quickly using smartphones.
Over 200 million businesses use Facebook apps every month and over 10 million use personalized ads to reach customers. It can help level the playing field; for many, they are the secret ingredient for success.
- By reaching people with particular interests, businesses can find potential customers that they think will like their products
- They can reach specific locations beyond their local areas in a way that was impossible before
- Because they are cheap and easy to measure, SMBs can make every dollar go a long way
Big brands can afford expensive mass marketing campaigns, but an independent shop or a family restaurant often struggle. Facebook’s #DigitalSaubhagya campaign has been launched ahead of Avurudu to help SMBs prepare for the busy shopping season and carry the momentum beyond the holidays.