Facebook announces $100M in grants for small businesses affected by COVID-19
By Jo Stanlake - March 27, 2020
As many small businesses around the world struggle to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s encouraging to see the bigger players in the market putting their hands up with programs of support.
Of particular note was the recent announcement by global media giant Facebook, who is offering $100M (anyone else picturing Dr Evil memes here?) in cash grants and advertising credits for up to 30,000 businesses across 30 countries and, yes...that includes Australia.
What’s encouraging is that the grants are not tied specifically to Facebook advertising (with obvious benefits to Facebook) but also include cash grants that can fund operational and rental costs for those who need it.
Facebook is also taking measures to address its duty of care as a platform that inadvertently promotes online health advice, recently banning ads that claim to cure the coronavirus disease as well as ads and ecommerce listings on Facebook Marketplace that promote face masks, hand sanitiser or disinfectant wipes.
Businesses can still sell these products online but Facebook, which was quickly followed by Google, introduced the policy to prevent businesses from capitalising on the current crisis.
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook will also open a Coronavirus Information Center, which will leverage Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organisation-verified data in order to prioritise “authoritative information” at the top of people’s Facebook newsfeeds.
As more and more people face lengthy periods of social isolation and turn to Facebook for regular information, entertainment and social connection, it’s positive to see some of this additional power being channeled towards positive community outcomes.
Details of the Facebook grant program are still being determined but businesses are encouraged to sign up for updates as Facebook maps out the application process. It’s likely to be rolled out over the next 2 to 3 weeks.
In-line with receiving the Facebook grant, using your free Google Ad credits, or any other digital marketing you may be considering, we'd like to help by offering a pro bono ROI forecast for your campaign, so that you can understand how much it will cost and what revenue you are likely to return from it. We want to help businesses feel comfortable that they can generate a positive return from paid media and other digital channels.
Please get in touch with BlueRock Digital if you’d like help applying for a Facebook grant or are wondering how to pivot your Facebook social media strategy in response to the changing COVID-19 environment.
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