Facebook to Host 5 ‘Boot Camps’ COME EARLY JULY to Woo SMALLER BUSINESSES

Facebook already racks up some serious advertising dollars from massive corporate companies. Now the social giant has big eyes for big ad bucks from mom and pop shops, too. And it’s really ready to send them to "boot camp" over the summertime to find the money ball rolling.

Mark Zuckerberg’s 1.2 billion-member social networking announced today that it’ll host five "Facebook Fit" small company boot camp-style events from early June to early August together with fellow California tech heavies Intuit QuickBooks, LegalZoom and Square.

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Facebook also tapped small company expert and author Rhonda Abrams and consumer tech TV journalist Mario Armstrong to headline the cross-country SMB outreach tour, that may roll through the next cities:

  • NY (June 3)
  • Miami (June 19)
  • Chicago (July 10)
  • Austin (July 24)
  • Menlo Park (Aug. 5)

"The idea here’s get your business in form," Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small company told Entrepreneur.com. "What we hear from smaller businesses constantly is they don’t really have lots of time, they don’t really have lots of money, so we will pack in a whole lot of really useful things into half-day boot camps where they are able to turn out stronger on the other end, whether they’re just starting out on Facebook or whether they’re pretty experienced, with new tips and ideas from us, from our event partners and from other businesses they meet and network with at the events."

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It’s no coincidence that Facebook Fit attendees may also turn out with $50 Facebook ad credits at hand — possibly the little nudge they have to start advertising on the world’s most popular social online space, or, if indeed they already have, to provide it another shot.

"We’re obviously there to greatly help smaller businesses with the marketing components of growing their business," Levy said. "We think Facebook will be a great partner there."

Levy said there are a few 25 million active small company pages on the website at this time. Enticing more of these to pump cash into Facebook ads, especially the mobile kind, is now increasingly vital that you the Silicon Valley mammoth, which this past year created its first Small and Medium Business Council to greatly help improve its marketing products, and presumably, its SMB market reach, too.

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Each Facebook Fit training costs $25 per person and can feature opening mainstage keynote speeches by Levy himself, accompanied by breakout sessions on key small company focus areas, like accounting, payments, legal services, and, of course, advertising on Facebook.

Levy said the word "boot camp" was inspired by the boot camp-style workout sessions new hire Facebook engineers focus on "get right up to speed quickly." Registration for the function opened today.

To reserve your Facebook Fit spot, head to http://fb.me/fit. No pushups or burpees required.

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