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Investing in community digital skills education 

Facebook Community Boost event stops in Redmond

Facebook held a two-day conference in Redmond this week, featuring education sessions about their products and features for small business owners. The "Community Boost" event is one of 50 the company has scheduled this year nationwide.

Over 240 people attended the two-day event, which kicked off Tuesday. Educational sessions covered everything from Facebook advertising and how to connect with local shoppers to Instagram stories and taking creative photos for social media.

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  • Keely Damara

The welcome session included a panel discussion with two local business owners who have successfully leveraged Facebook and Instagram, a Facebook product, as a marketing tool.



Brennan Morrow, SEO of Solar Light and Christmas Lights Are Us, said the company's lead-to-close rate was 72.5 percent last year — 15 percent higher than other Solatube dealers in the country. He attributes this to the brand he has cultivated on Facebook and the platform's retargeting tool, Facebook Pixel, which allows businesses to reach users who have visited their site through promoted content.

"For one, make sure we keep a good consistent voice and share valuable content," said Morrow. "We strive for the 80/20 rule — meaning that we give away 80 percent of our knowledge and then 20 percent of the time we do self promotion and advertising."

Matt Baker, director of small business at Facebook, said that while the company has held versions of the Community Boost events for about seven years, this year their marks their largest investment in digital skills education to date.

In Oregon, small businesses represent about 55 percent of private sector jobs and about 60 percent of growth in jobs, said Baker.

"As the world becomes increasingly digital and increasingly mobile, we know that folks are really hungry for those skills," said Baker. "So bringing those skills and helping people get familiar with those technologies is something we've been hearing from small businesses for a long time, so this is an effort to bring those skills into the community."

Redmond Mayor George Endicott also addressed the business community during the welcome session, expressing the Facebook has played in his own campaign for mayor and its importance to small business.

"All of you that are involved in the business community know the power of social media today and I hope you're all using it, because if you're not, you certainly should be."

There are five more events scheduled for 2018. Those interested in learning more about Facebook Community Boost events can visit fbcommunityboost.com.
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