Facebook is at a boom or bust moment in its history. With the Cambridge Analytica scandal well under way and a feeling brewing in the hearts of Americans that more breaches may be uncovered, it’s hard to know what fate Facebook will face should any more scandals surface. For small business owners, data breaches can have a catastrophic effect on their business and customer base.
Many small businesses rely on Facebook as a marketing and customer interaction platform. According to statistics from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 3 in 10 small and medium-sized businesses in the United States built their business on Facebook. Which means that 30% of small business owners have a crucial stake in the future of Facebook.
So when 87 million Americans had their data misused by Cambridge Analytica, there were definitely a few furious small business owners ringing Facebook’s bell. “When we learned about Cambridge Analytica, our primary concern was people’s experience on Facebook,” said Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of small business. “Our teams have been speaking to small businesses, and they want to make sure we’re addressing the situation, and we are.”
Facebook is aware of the many businesses who rely on their services. “The 80 million small businesses on Facebook represent one of the largest communities of small businesses in the world, and we are building more technology and new programs based on their feedback to help them grow, trade and hire,” says Doug Frisbie, Facebook’s global marketing director for small business.
In the wake of scandal and controversy, Facebook has pushed forward in their efforts to help small businesses through their Community Boost program. They launched their Community Boost in November as part of the $1 billion the company has invested in supporting small business on the platform.
Facebook’s community boost program aims to connect local businesses within communities, help them grow personal networks, and train them on how to incorporate Facebook into their marketing plans. At the very least, this program shows that Facebook is trying to make a difference. Whether or not their efforts will be enough to turn the tides of negativity remains to be seen.