Facebook sets up SME Council in Ireland

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  • Facebook, the world’s leading social network, is setting up an SME Council in Ireland in order to help Irish businesses make better use of its platform for social media marketing.

    The council will include 14 Irish businesses drawn from a wide range of different sectors, and will be led by Facebook’s manager for SMEs in the UK and Ireland, Olly Sewell.

    Facebook, which already has a significant corporate presence in Ireland including basing its European HQ in Dublin, is actively targeting the small business market in order to increase the number of companies that use its business tools for social media marketing.

    However, in addition to highlighting how Facebook can support the growth of SMEs in Ireland, the new SME Council will also offer the tech giant feedback on the kinds of products and services it should develop in the future in order to better serve small businesses.

    Ciaran Quilty, EMEA regional director for SMEs at Facebook, explained: “That’s a huge part of the council, in terms of listening to the various tools and products that we need to build. We need to keep working with SMEs and improving our services.”

    As a growing number of Facebook users access the social network from a mobile device, the company is also keen to help business owners understand how mobile marketing can support the growth of their business. Ciaran Quilty said: “Irish SMEs could use mobile a lot more to help them grow their businesses and employ more people, so we’re taking a small community of businesses in and we’re going to listen to what their needs are.

    “All the tools are available to everyone now. We hope to create a movement where all SMEs can learn from each other around all the different sophisticated tools and techniques that are there for them to do it.”

    One important focus area for the SME Council, which will meet at least twice a year, will be how small businesses in Ireland can increase their exports. 

    Facebook believes the growing sophistication of digital technologies, including its own platform, can help SMEs begin to export their products and services in a way that was only available to larger firms before. “SMEs all of a sudden have a huge export potential to really accelerate the growth of their business and reach people anywhere in the world incredibly quickly,” Ciaran Quilty explained.

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