Facebook team helps Sunderland businesses

Pictured at the Facebook  event for local businesses at the North - East Business and Innovation Centre are, from left; Simon Fall (Artwork Network Ltd), Cheryl McCarrick (NECC), Bob Campbell (life and Training Ltd), Siam Choudhury (Facebook), and Rosa Birch (front) of Facebook.
Pictured at the Facebook event for local businesses at the North - East Business and Innovation Centre are, from left; Simon Fall (Artwork Network Ltd), Cheryl McCarrick (NECC), Bob Campbell (life and Training Ltd), Siam Choudhury (Facebook), and Rosa Birch (front) of Facebook.
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A SOCIAL media giant came to Wearside to give businesses a helping hand.

Facebook teamed up with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) to show how companies can utilise the social networking site.

The event, at the North East Business and Innovation Centre, in Sunderland, offered the chance to get face-to-face advice from Facebook experts.

Some of the topics covered included how to engage your customers, how to grow your business on Facebook and examples of companies that had done this successfully.

James Ramsbotham, North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “Businesses need to explore all avenues for attracting new business and many are finding genuine value in the world of social media, which provides a unique forum to engage with potential customers, showcase new products or network with firms operating in specific sectors.

Sixty businesses came along.

David De Ivey, marketing and PR controller, Tyne and Wear Metro, said: “Facebook plays a huge part in our day-to-day marketing, allowing us to communicate regularly with our customers.

“Throughout the operational day we use our Facebook page to post updates that go from our controllers to our Facebook followers.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to utilise the Facebook platform.

“Last week, we unveiled a large artwork on a station wall comprised of over 200 pictures of places to visit on the Metro. These photos were collected via our Big Picture competition on Facebook and were judged via Likes received. Using Facebook like this was a fantastic way to interact with our followers and engage in something practical but also very creative.”

Simon Milner, Facebook’s UK and Ireland policy director, said: “We know that as well as a place for sharing pictures or keeping up with friends, Facebook is also where businesses connect with customers to start and join essential conversations.

“This, in turn, is allowing businesses to build their brand and reach new audiences and connect more with existing customers. Over 18,400 jobs around the UK are also supported, thanks to small businesses using Facebook in this way.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho