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How Facebook can save America.

With the stroke of a key, Mark Zuckerberg could unilaterally put billions of dollars back into the hands of US small businesses. By giving free advertising credits to business sectors impacted by the coronavirus, Facebook could seriously make an impact on the income and balance sheets of Main Street America. 

 

There are 65 million businesses using Facebook. 7 Million are actively advertising, creating more than $70.7 billion in revenue last year (and over $18.4 billion in profit). 

 

Companies who are hurting the most, like restaurants and hospitality, can’t afford to invest in advertising right now, which means they are losing even more customers. It also means they aren’t buying ads from Facebook. By helping firms get the reach they need while keeping ad dollars in their pocket, Facebook would create a win-win. Free ads would give businesses exposure when they really need it and build stronger Facebook customers for the recovery.

 

Allow me to build a case from Facebook’s point of view: 

 

  • It costs Facebook basically nothing. Remember — these are digital ads that cost almost nothing to create, and this inventory isn’t being sold anyway due to the downturn.  

 

  • Facebook would likely see a tax benefit for any free ad inventory they donate.

 

  • Facebook would likely pick up lots of new customers lured by the giveaway, many would become paying customers over time once they saw the positive impact social media advertising can have on their businesses. 

 

Google has had a nonprofit grant program for years that basically proves the model for this—and they should consider expanding that program temporarily as well. But the truth is that Google’s program is limited to text-based search ads, while Facebook/Instagram’s multimedia ads are much more powerful and effective for building brand awareness, especially in restaurants and retail. 

 

The coronavirus has created a moment unlike any other in modern history. Catastrophic economic consequences from the pandemic are roiling almost every business sector, with small businesses being hurt the worst. In these darkest of times, Facebook has the opportunity to provide a substantial amount of light for small businesses without any of the red tape that befalls government programs.

 

Share this article if you think Facebook should step up and take this opportunity to help save American small businesses.