Facebook recently launched its Paid Online Events in an effort to help small businesses gain control of their business once again and begin to recover. Social distancing has forced many business owners and entrepreneurs to get creative with their strategies, and while we have witnessed a new era of business execution, bringing with it very positive changes, many of our small businesses still have ways to go.
Paid Online Events is a way for small businesses to monetize online events on their business page. It’s truly the next natural step with the high number of people in every age range accustomed to a more digitized environment.
Here’s the breakdown:
Current State of Small Business Recovery
Small businesses are in a position where they may be headed in the right direction strategically but have insufficient funds to get there. Owners can adapt only if they can find the money in time. There are countless local initiatives as well as relief options from the SBA, but we’re still seeing our favorite shops struggle in the new environment.
On the bright side, about 90% of small businesses have reported that they are open or have reopened under new guidelines. The main concerns are meeting the criteria to receive loans (only 19% of small businesses have reported receiving financial help) and a contingency plan for a second wave of COVID-19.
It’s reported that as a result of the 2008 recession, large businesses recovered in about 4 years, while small businesses averaged at 6. Small businesses must make drastic changes to stay alive and right now that is looking like investing in new technology. The good news is Facebook for Business is free, and Facebook won’t be charging for the Paid Online Events for at least a year. It may be a slow and steady crawl upward, but it’s possible.
Facebook has combined marketing, payment, and live video all into one platform making it easier to host a virtual event from start to finish. Small business owners can create the event, meet their target market where they already are and promote the event, and process the payments all within Pages. The best part is, at least for the time being, they can also keep 100% of the profits because Facebook has stated that it does not plan to collect any fees for at least a year.
Paid Online Events provides a cohesive way for owners to grow organically and create custom audiences from the events attended. Bands can host concerts, fitness instructors can host their classes, people can attend seminars or any hobby class that takes advantage of this. It’s easier than ever for older generations, who may not be used to different video platforms, to stay social because they are most likely on Facebook already.
Eligible Content for Paid Online Events
There are a couple of different policies that users must comply with, the Partner Monetization Policy and the Content Monetization Policy. For example, here is a list of prohibited formats, behaviors, and categories directly from the Content Monetization Policy:
- No static videos, static image polls, slideshows of images, looping videos, text montage, or embedded ads
- No engagement bait or soliciting engagement
- No Debates on Social Issues, tragedy or conflict, objectionable activity, sexual or suggestive activity, strong language, explicit content, misinformation, misleading medical information, or politics and government
It’s important for the integrity of Paid Online Events that it’s hosted live and any prohibited behavior is avoided.
Guests of an event are charged when they register and Facebook offers these tips to keep guests interested in engaged up until your event:
- Promote – Generate awareness to new audiences and increase the number of registered users.
- Start Early – In order to prevent any technical difficulties, make sure everything is ready to go early, including your live stream.
- Communicate Expectations – Post a schedule and description of your event so guests know what to expect.
Facebook’s commitment to small businesses recovery provides direction for those business owners willing to make the change, but short on funds. If you’re a small business owner just starting to make the transition to a digital marketing strategy, start with a Facebook Business Page – it is a must-have resource and marketing channel for every business. Paid Online Events takes it one step further into a cohesive all-in-one platform.