Although the financial crisis in Puerto Rico has not yet taken a drastic swing of balance in a positive direction, that hasn’t stopped Facebook from identifying opportunities that are available on its plaform for small and medium businesses to expand their operations.
That is why members of the multi-billion dollar corporation took the opportunity to communicate all the tips, guides and strategies to some 600 small and business owners that attended the “Boost Your Business” conference that took place at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
“Facebook has the largest penetration out of all the social media platforms used in Puerto Rico, it is used primarily to keep in touch with friends and family,” said Ricardo Llerandi, executive director of Puerto Rico Trade and Export, which organized the event.
“We aim to make it so that the platform can be also known as a facilitator to sell online products,” he said.
Emmanuel Evita, policy communications Manager at Facebook, said one of the main reasons Puerto Rico was targeted for these conferences was because they saw “an opportunity” and “a demand” on the island.
“We are aware that Puerto Rico, like in some other territories, needs people that know how social media strategies work and how to execute them so that the business can grow,” he said.
“Puerto Rico is still recovering for Hurricane María. What we want to do with these conferences is to help those affected find creative new ways to sell their products and to put to better use the tools that are given by Facebook,” he explained.
Evita acknowledged that “it is very difficult to anticipate the long-term monetary impact it will have on the island’s economy in the future,” but he is “fully aware of the importance of small businesses in the economy at this time.”
Local resident and proprietary of Candy Creations, Emy Rosa, emphasized that if everyone followed the tips and guide on how to expand their business with the tools that the platform provides, there is no doubt in her mind that there will be success.
“I started off this business in 2013 and thanks to the tools provided by Facebook, I was able to make an established brand in the world of sweets to increase costumers and social media reach with my posts,” she said.
Secretary of State Luis Rivera-Marín made a brief appearance at the event, representing Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, whom he said locked down the idea of organizing the training events in Puerto Rico “after he visited the Facebook headquarters in San Francisco last May and met with the chief of operations of the social network, Sheryl Sandberg.”
“We thank Facebook for facilitating these conferences with experts on the most important social network platform in the world,” said Rivera-Marín.
The workshops that took place in San Juan and another scheduled for July 19 in Mayagüez, will be of “great benefit for owners of small and medium businesses to obtain the necessary knowledge through” Boost Your Business program, he said.