Facebook adds £2.2bn to the UK economy
The way things are at the moment the UK needs all the likes it can get. Luckily we have quite a few, according to a Deloitte study out today. It looks into the economic impact of Facebook across Europe and says Facebook is worth as much as £2.2bn to the UK economy and that the social network supports as many as 35,200 jobs.
The figure came as part of an Ad Boost programme that Facebook has announced, which will see it give away up to £4.2m of free advertising to help small businesses get started and grow their business on Facebook.
The Ad Boost programme aims to reach some 50,000 small businesses across the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy and will offer businesses the chance to claim up to £80 of ad credits.
The Deloitte report shows how Facebook already supports £1.14bn in “business participation effects” in the UK as businesses, predominantly small businesses, use Facebook’s free pages to promote their brand, raise awareness, advertise and generate new business. This activity it says supports 18,400 jobs in the UK.
This makes the UK one of the largest “Facebook economies in Europe. We’re level pegging with Germany (see infographic below).
Facebook gives an example of one small business run by Bianca Benn, 32, from Gravesend in Kent, who has already used Facebook to drive sales to her business Cake Pop Princess. Benn produces made to order cake truffle lollipops in colourful designs, which are sent through the post. Nearly all of Cake Pop Princess’s sales come through the company’s Facebook page.
“Cake Pop Princess’s sales have definitely increased thanks to being on Facebook; in fact, my business really couldn’t exist without it. I’ve noticed that a huge amount of orders come from friends of existing customers, as they’ve seen people raving about cake pops in their Facebook Newsfeed. The demand has been phenomenal and I’ve gone from processing a few orders a week in my spare time, to working full time and even hiring an assistant,” says Benn.
Speaking at the DLD conference in Munich today, Facebook’s chief operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, said that the report shows that Facebook is about a lot more than sharing pictures or keeping up with friends; increasingly social media means growth and jobs.
“As the Deloitte study highlights, social media is proving particularly valuable for small and medium sized businesses, which form the backbone of the European economy.
“The impact of social media is a bright spot in challenging times, but growth won’t happen on its own. We need to make sure that we invest in the right education, training, technology and networks so that social media can continue to drive innovation and economic growth,” Sandberg said.
Full release from Facebook below the infographic:
FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAMMES AND PARTNERSHIPS TO HELP UK ECONOMY REAP BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
· Facebook offers up to €5million, or £4.2 million, worth of ad credits to help 50,000 small businesses across EU survive and thrive
· Facebook unveils partnerships with British Chambers of Commerce and Enterprise Nation to support small businesses in UK
· Facebook signs up to the Next Gen Skills campaign to ensure young people have the right skills to join and lead the UK’s digital, creative and hi-tech industries
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg today announced a series of programmes and strategic partnerships across the EU designed to help small businesses reap the benefits of social media, and ensure young people are equipped with the right digital skills when they enter the jobs market.
The announcement comes with a new study by Deloitte which shows that, despite a challenging economic outlook across much of Europe, the growth of Facebook and mobile applications over recent years has supported 232,000 jobs and Facebook contributes €15.3 billion, or £12.7 billion, of economic impact to EU GDP. Facebook has supported 35,200 jobs and contributed an estimated €2.6 billion, or £2.2 billion, to UK GDP.
Across Europe Facebook will provide an Ad Boost programme giving away up to €5 million, or £4.2 million, of free advertising to help small businesses get started and grow their business on Facebook. The Ad Boost programme aims to reach some 50,000 small businesses across the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy and will offer businesses the chance to claim up to €100, over £80, of ad credits.
In the UK, to help small businesses take part in the Ad Boost programme and improve the way they use Facebook to drive growth, Facebook has:
· Unveiled a series of ‘Facebook for Business’ roadshows to be held across the UK over the next six months. Run in conjunction with the British Chambers of Commerce, each event will help small businesses build and maintain a Facebook page, engage fans and master Facebook advertising.
· Announced a partnership with Enterprise Nation for the development and delivery of e-book toolkits to help small businesses and start-ups build their Facebook presence and grow their business using Facebook’s marketing tools.
The Deloitte report shows how Facebook already supports €1.37 billion, or £1.14 billion, in ‘business participation effects’ in the UK as businesses, predominantly small businesses, use Facebook’s free pages to promote their brand, raise awareness, advertise and generate new business. This activity supports 18,400 jobs in the UK.
To ensure the UK can continue to compete in the digital age:
· Facebook today pledged its support for the Next Generation skills campaign to ensure young people have the right skills to join and lead the UK’s digital, creative and hi-tech industries. Facebook will work with its UK developer network to develop a report on the current digital skills and training gaps in the UK.
· Facebook is working with organisations, including Apps for Good, A4e and Techlightenment, to give young people the chance to learn how to design, code and build social applications.
Today’s Deloitte report demonstrates that there is already a so-called App Economy, worth €561m, £467m, in the UK, as businesses have sprung up building application and games on top of the Facebook Platform. This activity generates 7,500 jobs in the UK.
In London, entrepreneur Joshua March has created a whole business thanks to Facebook.
Joshua says: “Since starting the Facebook app agency iPlatform with my business partner in 2008, we’ve created more than 30 jobs across both iPlatform and our second company, Conversocial. These have been driven by the increasing demand by companies for social applications, as well as the new market developing in social customer service.
“Software is becoming a key part of all industries; in the near future, if you do not understand code you will not be able to effectively work or take part in society. The government is starting to take baby steps in the right direction towards an effective ICT curriculum and these initiatives by Facebook and Next Gen Skills are leading the way to ensure that both teachers and children are learning the right skills, in the right way, so that more companies like ours can thrive in the future.”
QUOTES FROM PARTNERS
Emma Jones, co-founder of Enterprise Nation, says:
“We are delighted to be working with Facebook to create a toolkit for anyone who is starting and growing a business. Facebook is a powerful platform that enables you to raise profile, engage with customers and increase sales, both in the UK and further afield. The toolkit has been created as an essential guide, offering the tips and techniques you need to successfully harness the power of Facebook in your own business.”
David Richards, Director of Operations for British Chambers of Commerce, says:
“Our members are always looking for new ways to engage with customers, and Facebook is one of the most exciting and effective ways of achieving this. We’re sure this series of ‘Facebook for Business’ roadshows will prove very popular with small businesses keen to learn how they can use Facebook to maximise growth, even in these difficult times.”
Ian Livingstone OBE, co-chair of Next Gen Skills, says:
“Social media clearly has a significant role to play in the future growth of the UK economy, so we really welcome Facebook’s support in ensuring our young people are equipped with the right digital skills to match demand.
“Facebook and its UK developer network bring real expertise to our campaign, and we look forward to working together to identify innovative new ways to plug the skills gap and, ultimately, enable further growth in the UK digital, creative and hi-tech industries.”
Gi Fernando, co-founder of Techlightenment, angel investor and advisor to a number of UK technology businesses says:
“More and more businesses recognise that by embracing social media platforms like Facebook, they can really punch above their weight when it comes to customer engagement. As a result, social technology companies like Techlightenment are thriving. Now, to sustain this growth, we need to ensure that the UK workforce supplies the right digital skills to meet demand.”
Debbie Forster, Interim CEO and Head of Partnering for CDI Europe, which runs the Apps for Good programme, says:
“There is clearly a digital skills gap in the UK, but this is partly because young people aren’t aware of the opportunities out there. The Facebook Apps for Good course goes right to the heart of how young people use technology today and allows them to create Facebook applications that address social and community problems they are passionate about. They can’t imagine a world without Facebook but don’t realise it could be a stepping stone into employment. Through programmes like Apps for Good, we challenge young people to think differently about the industry, and show them that just by using technology to solve their everyday problems, they are a developer in the making. Our work with Facebook is an important part of how we help more young people use the technology at their fingertips in an innovative and creative way.”